According to research, various government security organizations operating throughout the nation have recovered stolen oil worth N86.2 billion in August.

On Monday, it was claimed that members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps had recovered 16, 000 litres of diesel worth N800/litre (N12.8m) in Cross River.

The majority of the stolen goods, which were automotive gas oil, popularly known as diesel, according to Rivers State NSCDC Commandant Samuel Fadeyi, were found within the last two weeks.

Additionally, the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Seme Area Command reported intercepting 3,998 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, each containing 30 litres, or 119,940 litres, on last Wednesday.

According to Bello Mohammed Jibo, the Customs Area Controller, the products were roughly four tanker loads, each containing 33,000 liters. A price of N191 per litre of PMS( highest range) was recently approved by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, or (NMDPRA). Nigeria would have lost almost N161m if the 119, 940 liters had made it to the Republic of Benin.The duty-paid value of the petroleum product that was seized was N28.9 million.In contrast to Nigeria, where the Federal Government provides subsidies for petrol, one litre of petrol costs N396 in the Republic of Benin at the moment.

The 119, 940 liters of petrol would have brought at least N47 million in sales if they had made it to the neighboring nation without incident.From 2006 to 2018, the Federal Government alone spent N9.84 trillion on gasoline subsidies. Additionally, a new N4 trillion had been spent as of this year.

As at July, estimated subsidies on petrol was N2trn in seven months. Although Nigeria consumes 60 million liters of gasoline per month, a source familiar with the situation had revealed that as of April, marketers had been loading up to 106 million liters per month, bringing the total amount of smuggled gasoline to 46 million liters per month.

This last week too, the Nigerian Navy confirmed that MV HEROIC IDUN, a supertanker, had been detained by Equatorial Guinean authorities for allegedly stealing crude oil from Nigeria.

When the actions of the group were discovered by Navy agents, it retreated from Nigeria’s AKPO Oil Field.The 299,995 MT supertanker has the International Maritime Organization identification number 9858058.The tanker’s overall crude oil capacity is 2.1 million metric tons, or slightly more than seven barrels of crude oil.

Last week, the price of Brent International was $96 per barrel. Bonny Light, a crude oil grade from Nigeria, typically sells for $1 or more more than Brent.If Bonny Light had been $97/b last week, 2.1 million barrels would have sold for $204 million, or N86 billion.

The total estimated loss from reported oil theft this month alone comes to at least N86.2 billion when you add the N161 million that would have been made from the petrol seized at Benin Republic, the N86 billion from crude oil intercepted by the Navy, and the N12.8 million from the recovered 16, 000 liters of diesel by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Cross River.

Clement Isong, spokesman for the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria(MOMAN), Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria(IPMAN), and Mike Asatuyi, National Operations Controller, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMAN, have all defended their members’ involvement in the smuggling of gasoline to surrounding nations.

“It is definitely not a good thing to use all revenue to service debts, and those debts are coming from subsidies. It is a potential danger for the country.

My worry is that what we were avoiding- the suffering and inflation that we were avoiding- by not removing the subsidy will now be worse, because if we get to a point where we find it difficult to service our debts, what it means is that our lenders will charge us more interests because they know we don’t have money. Their interests will be much higher, with less revenue to pay salaries. So, from a financial standpoint, it is not good news for Nigeria,” a former chairman of the Major Oil Marketers of Nigeria, MOMAN, Tunji Oyebanji, said when asked about the impact of the Federal Government’s continuous payment of subsidies.

Olalekan Olafuyi, a Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Benin and the Chairman of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Nigeria Council, made the shocking revelation last Sunday. He estimated that 2000 trucks of crude oil are lost in Nigeria every day.

“Crude oil theft is a bad omen for the country. The Society is already discussing with NIMASA to see how we can strategise in terms of telling them the strategy that can be employed in monitoring production, because crude oil theft is quite huge. Imagine the country losing 500, 000 barrels per day. One barrel is about 160 litres. One truck/tanker is 250 barrels. So, if you say we are losing about 500, 000 barrels, you can imagine that we are losing about 2000 trucks every day,” he said.


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