Nigeria lost N2.3 trillion due to oil theft – On Wednesday, the Senate revealed that Nigeria has already lost N2.3 trillion this year to oil theft.
Due to this, it subsequently commanded an extensive inquiry into the conduct of security forces and militia organizations utilizing cutting-edge techniques to steal crude oil in the nation.
This came after Senator Ned Munir Nwoko (Delta North) made a motion in the plenary.
Nwoko remarked that the available statistical data demonstrated that oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism were to blame for Nigeria’s severe socio-economic predicament.
The congressman claimed that some dishonest individuals in the security agencies banded together with dubious individuals in the oil industry to engage in illegal oil theft operations.
This, he claimed, hampered the joint efforts of the Nigerian military’s Joint Task Force and other various security institutions to tackle the threat.
Nwoko said, “The current collaborative efforts involving the Joint Task Force of the Nigerian military, operations like Operation Delta Safe and Operation Dakartada Barawo, along with the contributions of various security entities, state and local governments, and International Oil Companies (IOCs) in the Niger Delta region have yielded positive results.
“These efforts have led to an increase in oil production, reaching 1.51 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2023.
“This figure marks an improvement from the 1.49 million barrels per day recorded in the same quarter of 2022 and is notably higher than the production volume of 1.34 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Despite the efforts of certain military personnel and security agencies like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and Department of State Services (DSS) in combating oil theft in the Niger Delta region, there are individuals within these institutions who engage in illicit activities.
“These individuals collaborate with unscrupulous figures within the oil industry to undermine the nation’s economy.
“Also observes that it has come to attention that oil theft in Nigeria thrives due to a troubling collaboration between security forces, militia groups, the local population, and certain employees within oil companies.
“These parties employ sophisticated methods to carry out theft from oil facilities located within the country. Given Nigeria’s vast oil and gas reserves, one would expect crude oil production to continuously increase, aligning with OPEC’s production quota of 1.74 million barrels per day.”
Nwoko added that there had been accusations and denials of oil bunkering and other crimes exchanged between the military and neighborhood militia groups.
These claims, he claimed, highlighted the serious degree of sabotage and disruption to the country’s economic foundation.
“In 2022, it was reported that Nigeria suffered daily losses of approximately 437,000 barrels of crude oil, amounting to a value of $23 million, due to criminal activities.
“In March 2023, Nigeria incurred a substantial loss of 65.7 million barrels of crude oil, valued at $83 per barrel, translating to a staggering revenue loss of N2.3 trillion as a result of oil theft,” he added.
Therefore, he encouraged the Senate to conduct an extensive probe into the actions of the oil thieves and their security force accomplices.
Punitive measures were demanded by Senator Buhari Abdulfatai (APC, Oyo) to stop oil bunkering.
“We carry out investigations every year but at the end, nothing has come out of it. We need to review our laws and take punitive measures against oil thieves,” he said.
Oil theft, according to Senator Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo), is a well-organized crime including bunkers and security personnel.
This, he claimed, explains why many security officers pushed for postings to the oil-producing areas with their bosses.
As a result, the Senate instructed its committees on petroleum resources (upstream, downstream, and gas), host communities, and Niger Delta affairs to conduct comprehensive investigations into the behavior of security forces, militia groups, the locals, employees of oil companies, and any other person or entity suspected of using sophisticated techniques to steal from oil facilities.
Godswill Akpabio, president of the Senate, stated in his remarks that oil theft has a negative influence on the nation’s ability to produce oil despite its expanding population.
He instructed the committees to conduct in-depth probes and submit their findings to the Senate in six weeks.
Additionally, the National Social Investment Programme Agency Act (NSIPA), 2023, modifications were begun by the Senate yesterday.
The intention was to transfer control of the organization from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the Presidency.
The Senate Leader’s motion to move the bill, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, was approved on second reading in the full Senate.
According to Bamidele, the agency would be moved from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the Presidency in order to alter Sections 9(3), 14(1), 21(1), 22(1), 26(1), and 33 of the NSIPA Act, 2023.
The senate president also stated that the agency “will now be under the direct supervision of the President.”
He went on to discuss its importance for eradicating poverty and promoting social inclusion.
The goal of the proposed amendments to the NSIPA Act, 2023, according to him, “is to ensure that the social investment program is standard, transparent, effective and accountable.”
According to him, the amendment “is a result of President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the Renewed Hope mantra in ensuring that social investment programs are standard, transparent, effective, and accountable structure of delivery, adequate coordination, and synergy among key government agencies.”
The change “is in fulfillment of section 17(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999,” the senate leader observed.
According to the provision, the State must focus its policies on guaranteeing that all citizens, without any form of discrimination against any group, have access to appropriate means of subsistence and the ability to find acceptable employment, among other things.
Bamidele stated that with this change, the NSIPA may fulfill a number of sustainable development goals (SDGs), including as poverty reduction, education, health, social inclusion, and empowerment.
At the plenary, former Senate President Ahmed Lawan also noted that although the 9th Senate enacted the bill, its execution had problems because individuals who needed support were in hard-to-reach rural areas.
Lawan, who is currently Yobe North’s representative, stated: “Funds were distributed to achieve social inclusion, but the beneficiaries have no bank accounts.”
He declared, “After passing this, it is time we must participate fully to ensure the capturing of the beneficiaries that need the support in such a way the National Assembly is satisfied.”
The National Assembly “should have been to be part of the process, but that was not done,” he continued.
“The support was sent to each state of the federation. All senators were onlookers, which is unacceptable.”
Senator Seriake Dickson, who participated in the discussion, asked the lawmakers to take advantage of the chance to examine other problems brought up during the law’s execution under the administration of the late President Muhammadu Buhari.
The method of choosing the program’s recipients should be included in the revision, according to Dickson, who is presently the representative for Bayelsa.
He asserted that proposals had to be made at the committee level and that the previous administration carried out programs like TraderMoni and COVID palliatives without receiving parliamentary permission.
The Senate President swiftly forwarded the bill to the committee of the whole for consideration on Wednesday after the discussion so that eminent senators could review it clause by clause.
While the NSIPA Act was passed in May 2023 to address socioeconomic disparities and reduce poverty among Nigerians, NSIP was established in 2016 while President Muhammadu Buhari was still in office.
The N-POWER Program, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, and Conditional Cash Transfer Programme were the four foundations upon which the program was built.
Regardless of where they were located around the country, each pillar was created to enable the most vulnerable and impoverished Nigerians to achieve a decent quality of living.
In the meantime, the Senate yesterday warned that if the current food insecurity is not swiftly addressed, the nation could face a severe food crisis.
This was said by the red chamber as it discussed a motion brought up by Senator Sani Musa of the Niger East Senatorial District.
The motion was headed “Urgent Need for Federal Government to Deploy Troops and Other Security Apparatus to Immediately Bring an End to the Menace of Insurgency and Terrorism in Niger State and Other Parts of Nigeria”
The senators, in their varied contributions, agreed that the development could have a negative impact on the federal government’s economic diversification and food-sufficiency policies.
They pleaded with the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, and the Inspector General of Police to send soldiers into the affected areas right away to defend the unarmed populace and restore security.
They claimed that it was the sole remedy for regaining people’s trust in the afflicted communities’ security and safety.
The Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police, according to the federal parliamentarians, should urgently make sure that there is a complete military presence in the local government areas of Shiroro and Rafi, respectively.
In order to stop the rising insecurity, they also gave the military and security services orders to reorganize how they conduct themselves in the impacted areas.
The Senate further instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the National Emergency Management Agency to deploy aid and a medical support team to the victims right away as a matter of national emergency.
Even though the Senate had passed a number of resolutions, established an ad hoc committee on security, held national security summits, declared its support for ending the country’s ongoing insecurity, and further appropriated funds and advanced a number of steps to support the security agencies, the lawmakers bemoaned that the situation was getting worse.
Moving his motion, Musa said, “For seven years now, Niger East Senatorial District of Niger State has come under constant and sustained multiple deadly attacks by heartless, venomous and hydra-headed Boko Haram terrorists who are always heavily armed with assorted sophisticated and dangerous weapons unleashing their horror on our innocent populace.
“Unfortunately, these repeated attacks are taking place amidst absenteeism, slightest hindrance, resistance or confrontation from the authorities concerned. About 42 communities across the two local government areas of Shiroro and Munya Local government have so far fallen under the Boko Haram control with about 5,000 villagers already displaced in the last three days.
“Primary schools in Gwada, Kuta, Pandogari, and Minna have hurriedly been turned to IDP camps following the sacking of nearly 5,600 villagers from their ancestral homes in Shiroro, Rafi, and Munya local government areas in the last few weeks by bandits who raided the towns and villages.”
Senator Seriake Dickson, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, declared Wednesday that the National Assembly was ready to support any new laws or amendments to existing ones that would aid in the country’s effort to finance its energy transformation.
In a message of goodwill at the Africa Climate Forum 2023, Dickson provided the guarantee under the heading “Powering the Future: Financing Energy Transition for Sustainable Progress.”
The politician who praised the event’s planners, the Global Centre for Law, Business, and Economy, advocated for collaboration between federal agencies.
and other parties to help the nation transition to sustainable energy.
He underlined the National Assembly’s willingness to amend any new or amended legislation intended to facilitate an energy transition.
The urgency of the issue and significance of the event, according to Dickson, cannot be overstated if we are to achieve a sustainable and fair energy future.
He said that relying too heavily on fossil fuels had caused social injustice, air pollution, local and global wars, and global warming.
Dickson contended that while achieving a sustainable energy transition was everyone’s communal responsibility, money would nonetheless continue to be crucial.
He said: “Let’s begin to acknowledge that transitioning to a sustainable energy is not an easy task. We have been told that Africa has 40 percent of the world’s renewable energy sources yet, available financing so far indicates that we have only attracted only 2 percent financing.