CBN laments annual $4 billion oil theft depletes external reserves

CBN laments 95% loss in daily oil production

By Jeph Ajobaju, Editor-in-Chief

Petroleum Resources Minister Timipre Sylva has outlined a plan involving communities, security agencies and oil companies to tackle oil theft which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has now acknowledged is depleting reserves exterior.

Nigeria is losing 150,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) to theft that amounts to $4 billion a year in a revenge game in the Niger Delta where locals mistakenly think they have to steal their own share of the looting of Abuja’s national cake makers.

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CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) admitted in its last meeting the negative impact of oil theft on the economy, as stated in a statement that CBN Godwin Emefiele read out to reporters in Abuja.

“The committee noted with deep concern the unprecedented rate of oil theft in recent times and its debilitating impact on government revenue and reserve growth,” it said.

He said the MPC hopes that in the medium term, the Dangote refinery project to start operating later this year will increase the supply of petroleum products.


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Lack of energy supply

The MPC has noticed that the rise in the price of fuel is exacerbated by a lack of energy supply which is fueling the prices of goods and services, Emefiele added, according to a report by Nairametry.

“MPC advises CBN management and tax authorities to take specific and urgent action to avoid many power plants being shut down for maintenance, resulting in the current unwarranted shutdown of generating assets.”

The MPC also assessed several CBN interventions to increase productivity in manufacturing, industry, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, healthcare, and micro, small and medium enterprises. .

Emefiele said CBN disbursed N29.67 billion under its Anchor Borrower Program (ABP) between January and February 2022 for purchase of inputs and planting of maize, rice and wheat – three previous major sources of currency (forex) demand.

“These disbursements bring the program total to over 4.52 million smallholder farmers, growing 21 crops across the country, totaling N975.61 billion.”

Views of other stakeholders

Seplat Energy CEO/Founding Managing Director Austin Avuru revealed last week that 80% of production from some oil wells is not reaching terminals due to theft, and called for a national emergency in the sector. tanker.

UBA Banking Group and Heirs Holdings chairman Tony Elumelu also blamed the theft on Nigeria’s inability to meet its crude oil production quota and benefit from high oil prices.

He said Nigeria was losing 95% of its oil production to thieves, citing the Bonny terminal which receives less than 3,000 barrels a day when it is supposed to receive over 200,000 barrels.

Shirlene J. Manley