In an effort to find out who is responsible for the ongoing theft of Nigeria’s crude oil, the House of Representatives Special Committee on Crude Oil Theft and Losses has asked the Nigerian Navy to provide them with pertinent information.

This plea was made in a statement on Sunday in Abuja by the Committee Chairman, Rep. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, following their meeting with Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogala, the Chief of Naval Staff.

Doguwa reassured Ogala that the committee would treat whatever information it gathered in confidence with the highest secrecy.

Crude oil theft is “a big concern for the economy of our country, Nigeria,” he said, adding that the Nigerian government felt compelled to reach out to the appropriate security agencies for help.

Based on the crude oil benchmark of $77.96 per barrel and production of 1.78 million barrels per day, the parliament allocated approximately N28.77 trillion for the year 2024.

“From 1.39 million barrels per day in December 2023 to 1.42 million barrels per day in January 2024, oil production in Nigeria increased by about 6.85 percent.”

Even though oil output has been rising slowly, he noted that the country’s 2024 budget goal fell short of the OPEC requirement of 1.58 million barrels per day.

He claimed that crude oil theft was the main reason the nation was falling short of its output goals.

“The fact that these criminals are working together to commit this theft raises serious concerns about national security and the state of the country’s economy,” he continued.

Citing a recent report by NNPC Ltd. detailing an increase in crude oil production to approximately 1.78 million bpd, the statement cited the Chief of Naval Staff as saying that oil theft was still a big problem for the country’s economy.

He said this was the most in three years, but it fell short of Nigeria’s OPEC quota; he also promised that the Navy will coordinate with other agencies to meet that goal.

Despite the enormous size of Nigeria’s waterways—which he claimed constituted more than 10% of the country’s landmass—he lamented the lack of staff to adequately patrol them.

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