Nigeria is losing 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day because of theft and vandalism, the head of the state oil company said, underscoring how insecurity is causing vast financial losses for the West African country.
With Brent Crude oil prices hovering around $66.70, the losses would amount to more than $13 million a day and more than $4.8 billion a year, at a time when Nigeria needs funds to tackle poverty, improve security and boost the economy, which shrank 1.92% in 2020 in part due to the pandemic.
The group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, made the comments on Wednesday while meeting the new head of Nigeria’s military, Lucky Irabor, a statement from the firm said.
“In terms of crude losses, it is still going on,” said Kyari in the statement. “On the average, we are losing 200,000 barrels of crude every day,” he added, attributing the losses to thieves and vandals.
Irabor said the armed forces would protect Nigeria’s oil and gas.
“Our existence, economically, rests almost solely on the NNPC, and to that extent, we must do everything possible to give you everything that you require,” he said.