Nigeria is still perhaps the only resource-rich country confronted with the peculiar challenges of oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegal mining, and daylight stealing of our solid minerals, painfully by foreigners with the collusion of our citizens.”
By Deborah Hassan
365Daily – The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji has accused Nigerians of conniving with foreigners to steal natural resources from the country.
He said this on Saturday in his remarks at the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day 2023 in Abuja.
He said: “In this sector, Nigeria is still perhaps the only resource-rich country confronted with the peculiar challenges of oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegal mining, and daylight stealing of our solid minerals, painfully by foreigners with the collusion of our citizens.”
Orji said data indicates that Nigeria lost over 619 million barrels of crude valued at $46.16 billion or N16.25 trillion between 2009 and 2020 in oil theft alone.
On petroleum resources, he stated that the country lost 4.2 billion litres of petroleum products from refineries, valued at $1.84 billion at the rate of 140,000 barrels per day from 2009 to 2018.
Citing NEITI reports, Orji said between 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 $12.74 million or N4.325 trillion.
He said the reports also disclosed that during the same period, Nigeria spent over N471. 493 billion to either repair or maintain these pipelines.
He added that as a member of the Inter-Agency Task Team, NEITI believes that collaborations and partnerships between stakeholders can create innovative yet efficient and sustainable ways to proffer solutions to address the corruption issues plaguing the country.
He affirmed NEITI’s commitment to supporting the fight against corruption through the sharing of credible information and data to ensure that corruption is minimised, if not eliminated in the governance of Nigeria’s extractive sector.
While calling on stakeholders to have robust discussions on issues that will centre on promoting transparency and strengthening accountability institutions to sustain peace, security, and the overall development of Nigeria, the DG recommended the EITI model of multi-stakeholder consensus building and oversight as an option to implant accountability mechanisms in governance institutions.