Nigeria loses $5b yearly to crude oil theft

Nigeria reportedly loses about $5 billion to oil bunkering.

Some suspects have been arrested by the Nigerian security authorities for operating illegal oil bunkering in some parts of the country.

According to a News Agency of Nigeria report March 31, 2012, some unnamed Ghanaians were among over 150 persons including Chinese nationals that have been arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in recent times.

“We have also arrested two foreigners from Ghana and China in the Lagos metropolis over illegal bunkering; we have also been able to discover some illegal refineries,” the news agency quoted Commandant-General of the corps, Dr Ade Abolurin as saying while addressing personnel of the corps at an event in Kaduna State.

Abolurin said that the 150 operators of the illegal oil bunkers were arrested in separate operations by men of the corps in Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Enugu, Imo and Niger.

According a Daily Trust publication, Abolurin said the arrests were made in the first quarter of this year.

He said the corps was working with the Nigerian Army, Police and the State Security Service (SSS) to check the activities of illegal bunkers on the sea, according to the report.

Meanwhile Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) says Nigeria is losing $5 billion annually to oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region, according to its Managing Director Mutiu Sunmonu .

He made the comments during a meeting in Abuja with the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, an industry watchdog, the Independent Online reported March 30, 2012.

By Ekow Quandzie

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