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.
It is quite mortifying, and perhaps incomprehensible, that a country in the throes of crushing poverty could allow her prized resources to be so brazenly plundered. At her current daily production rate of a little below two million barrels, Nigeria loses one-fifth of her oil revenues to shady characters operating within the labyrinthine creeks of the Niger Delta. This amounts to revenue loss of about $24 million per day with the current oil prices hovering at $60 per barrel. It is indefensible for a country that has been going cap-in-hand to China, seeking loans.
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