Report identifies cause of crude oil theft, By Odita Sunday, Abuja.


The Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft/Losses in Nigeria report was submitted to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd), on Monday, attributed the cause of crude oil racketeering to a lack of proper reporting of crude oil production, illegal refining, theft from the wellhead, and diversion from sophisticated pipelines network. According to a statement signed by the Head, Strategic Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Mr. Zakari Usman, yesterday, the panel engaged critical stakeholders within and outside the oil and gas industry, including state governments, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs); security agencies; regulatory agencies; international and indigenous oil companies; traditional institutions; host communities and artisanal refiners. The statement also noted that, in discharging the panel's responsibility, it received and reviewed several memoranda and reports on oil theft and losses.

It reads: "During the assignment, the panel discovered several layers of involvement in the illegal theft of crude oil despite the best efforts of the Armed Forces and other security agencies to combat the activities of the oil thieves.

With these stories, does it mean that all these years, Nigeria's National security did not know or understand the cause and sources of oil theft in Nigeria? Because according to this report by the Guardian, news, the national security adviser has just been briefed by the panel as stated. The board also observed that crude oil losses arose from a lack of proper reporting of oil production, illegal refining, theft from wellheads, and diversion from sophisticated pipelines network."

The panel attributed losses to the absence of a robust industry-wide metering system and an unworkable security arrangement. While submitting the report, the chairman of the board, Maj-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (Rtd) called for quick implementation of the information and asserted that if the government implements the recommendations, oil theft/losses would be adequately addressed. When receiving the message, Monguno thanked the panel for keeping to the timeline and addressing the issues comprehensively. He assured that government would study the information and see to its immediate implementation, especially the recommendations with short-term perspectives.

The NSA inaugurated the investigative panel on December 6, 2022, and was given 10 weeks to complete the assignment with extensive terms of reference to investigate all aspects of crude oil theft/losses in all its ramifications. The panel commenced work the same day.