Nigeria is wallowing in self-imposed poverty. The situation would remain so for a pretty long time because no one in federal government has the political will power to confront the elements of backwardness in the land. Agriculture has remained in the hands of millions of peasant farmers who eke out a living through subsistent farming with primitive implements. Nigeria cannot feed its teeming population.
Nigeria is practically broke, but the federal government insists that what it is battling is sporadic cash flow problems rather than absolute cash crunch.
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has raised the alarm that in the last 10 years, crude oil and refined products worth the sum of $42 billion were stolen from the country.
This was contained in a Policy Brief titled ‘Stemming the Increasing Cost of Oil Theft to Nigeria’ released and made available to newsmen by NEITI’s Director, Communications and Advocacy, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji yesterday in Abuja.
EXACTLY six years after Chatham House, an independent policy institute based in London, the United Kingdom, first alerted the world to the systemic theft of Nigerian oil “on an industrial scale”, the country is still haemorrhaging from the deep cut inflicted by massive oil theft. Instead of witnessing a stem-to-stern effort to check the grand larceny, the situation has profoundly worsened. Although the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation puts what is stolen at 120,000 barrels per day, a new report reveals that an average of 400,000 barrels of crude is purloined on a daily basis.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibot-Ete Ekwe Ibas said that for incidences of oil theft, sea piracy and pipeline vandalism to be effectively tackled, the Nigerian Navy would need additional operational vessels.
Ibas said this during a budget defence with the House of Representatives committee on navy.
Challenged by the delays in the criminal justice system, the Nigerian Navy (NN) has appealed to the government to consider establishing a special tribunal for speedy trial of suspected oil thieves.
Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC) Rear Admiral Oladele Daji stated this during interview with reporters at the 81 Division’s training day for Exercise Crocodile Smile IV held at the Ikeja Cantonment, Lagos.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned 26
suspected pirates alongside a company, Sam Pam Nigeria Limited, and a
vessel, MV Neso II, before Justice Mohammed Liman of the federal high
court in Ikoyi.
The suspects were arraigned on two counts bordering on illegal dealing
in petroleum products.