Nigeria is the country with the highest incidents of crude oil theft in the world, the data released by Oilprice.com shows.
According to the website, with as much as 400,000 barrels of crude oil stolen daily, Nigeria is ranked worse than Mexico, Iraq, Russia and Indonesia on the top five countries most plagued by oil theft.
The report put Nigeria’s losses to crude theft at $1.7 billion, about N272 billion per month, representing 7.7 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
“This represents 7.7 percent of Nigeria’s GDP vanishing, or more than the country spends on education and healthcare.
“These numbers paint a harsh picture about the inability of the Nigerian government and the multinational oil companies in Niger Delta, to do anything about this rampant theft.
* A canoe used to ferry crude oil in Nigeria
“With oil theft hitting record levels in 2013, the G8 has been reminded of its 2000 pledge to help Nigeria solve this crippling problem.
“However, as the Global Financial Initiative points out, ‘stolen Nigerian crude oil is transported on internationally registered vessels, sold to international buyers, processed by international oil refineries and paid for using international bank accounts’.
“With one group of thieves admitting to profits of nearly $7,000 a day from their illicit activities, it will take some doing to stop them,” the report stated.
Commenting on state of oil theft in Iraq, the report stated that there have been substantiated reports of complex networks taking thousands of barrels right from the refineries and selling them illegally to Iran and Syria.
According to a disclosure at the ongoing national conference in Nigeria, published by Reuters in June, Nigeria is alleged losing an estimated $35 million (20.6 million pounds) a day from oil theft.
* Crude oil theft in Niger Delta area of Nigeria
The report called on Africa's largest economy and top oil producer to "bring this racket to a full, final stop".
A delegate to the conference and former Governor of Kebbi State, Adamu Aliero, while contributing to a debate at the conference on crude oil theft in Nigeria, disclosed that "there is an international syndicate behind oil theft and they are not ready to cooperate with us" (Nigeria) and therefore recommended stricter sanctions against those involved in the crime, as a deterrent to others."
* Crude oil being ferried in Nigeria
He emphasized on the need for the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the intractable menace which has drastically depleted Nigeria's oil revenue.
Crude oil theft is common in the Niger-Delta area of Nigeria where most of Nigeria's crude oil deposits are situated.