The federal government has unveiled alarming statistics revealing the loss of $12.74 million worth of crude oil in 7,143 pipeline vandalism cases over the past five years.
The disclosure was made during the Nigeria International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference in Abuja by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), emphasizing the severe economic repercussions of oil theft on the nation’s economy.
“NEITI disclosed that in the last five years, 2017 to 2021, Nigeria recorded 7,143 cases of pipeline breakages and deliberate vandalism resulting in crude theft and product losses of 208.639 million barrels valued at $12.74m or N4.325tn.,” NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Ogbonnaya Orji said, while backing his claim with data.
Additionally, the agency highlighted that the country expended billions during the same period to repair or maintain vandalized pipelines.
NEITI's 2021 Oil and Gas Industry Report, released in September, underscored the sector's substantial impact on Nigeria's economy. The oil and gas industry accounted for 72.26% of the country's total exports and government foreign exchange, contributed 40.55% to government revenue, and provided 19,171 jobs.
Despite these strategic contributions, Orji stressed that Nigeria is yet to derive optimal benefits from its oil and gas resources due to challenges such as oil theft, pipeline vandalism, integrity compromise, outright sabotage, and general insecurity in the region.
Addressing these challenges, the Nigerian government is collaborating with private entities to combat the persistent issues of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, seeking long-term solutions to secure the integrity of the nation's crucial energy infrastructure.