Crude oil thieves are Nigeria’s worst enemies – Senate president
Ahmad Lawan, Nigeria’s Senate President has described oil thieves as the country’s worst enemies whose actions could ruin the economy.
In remarks on Friday during the presentation of the 2023 budget proposal at the National Assembly, Abuja, he said: “The thieves have declared war on our country and our people.”
“I strongly feel that if we do not take the necessary measures to stop the thieves immediately, our economy will be devastated, as efforts to provide infrastructure and diversification of the economy would both be thwarted.”
Lawan said it is time to take drastic and desperate measures against the thieves as their action is limiting government revenue required for developmental projects.
The Senate president said the plan of deploying the country’s revenues from oil and gas to support the diversification into the real sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and mining is now under serious threat.
“With conflicting figures, projections have put our losses from this malaise at between 700,000 to 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day, leading to about 29-35 percent losses in oil revenue in the first quarter of 2022.
“This represents an estimated total fall from N1.1 trillion recorded in the last quarter of 2021 to N790 billion in the first quarter of this year,” Lawan said.
He said, “The situation has worsened. Recently, the loss of our oil has reached one million barrels per day. Translated into monetary terms, our loss is monumental.
“The figures show we are not able to meet the OPEC daily quota of 1.8 million barrels per day.”
Three months after losing its status as Africa’s biggest crude oil producer to Angola, Nigeria’s oil output has dropped below that of Libya in August, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).