Navy: Nigeria Loses N433.62bn through Oil Theft Yearly

Written by on March 4, 2015

Chief of Naval Staff,  Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin

Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin

The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday told the Senate Committee on Navy that the nation currently loses  as many as 100, 000 barrels of crude oil at the estimated cost of N1.18 billion everyday, amounting to N433.62 billion  a year.

Making the disclosure during the organisation’s budget defence, the Chief of Naval Staff,  Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin,  who was represented by the Chief of Logistics,  Rear Admiral Peter Agba, said the development was caused by poor enforcement at the nation’s territorial waters.

Jibrin said he obtained the information through Chatham House’s recent disclosure.

The figure however contradicted the recent Ministry of Finance claim that Nigeria was losing 400, 000 barrels of crude oil per day despite the award of multi – billion dollar contracts to some private security outfits.

He lamented that whereas the Nigerian Navy had submitted the sum of N205.4 billion for its capital projects in 2014, the Ministry of Finance reduced it to paltry N8 billion, which he said implied 90 percent reduction of its original budget proposal.

“The proposed capital projects for 2015 (captured in the initial N205.4 billion) include the ongoing acquisition of two OPVs, acquisition of patrol crafts and helicopters, procurement of arms and development of vital support infrastructure. The equipment are needed to improve naval operations and the welfare of personnel,” he said.

He added that despite the substantial reduction in the Navy appropriation in 2014, the Nigeria Navy didn’t fail in its responsibility as it arrested 84 vessels  and 155 suspected oil thieves.

He also said his personnel destroyed 120 illegal oil refineries,  29 barges,  93 boats and 1, 259 auxiliary equipment and tools used by the oil thieves.

In another development, Minister of Education Minister, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Macjohn Nwaobialu, contradicted each other during the ministry’s budget defence before the Senate Committee on Education.

While the Permanent Secretary blamed non-implementation of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as constituency projects in the ministry in 2014 on non-release of funds, the minister debunked the claim, saying over N5 billion was rather released but it only arrived late.

He, however, did not explain if the money was returned to the Ministry of Finance or not.

Shekarau assured that if the financial year in 2015 began in March, the projects would be duly implemented.

“The issue of the constituency projects and the MDG projects constitute one of the top priorities as far the MDG is concerned. And when I came on board when the year was almost more than half way, I did ask. All I know is that the MDG office does not release some funds directly to some institutions, not necessarily through the ministry. I cherish these constituency projects.

“I want to assure this committee and the entire membership of the Senate that what we will do to ensure that constituency projects are realised, we shall do. What I learnt was that it was advertised and went through all the processes. In fact, right now, the ministerial standard board had met, it was at the stage of the release of the contracts that we realised that the release of funds for capital projects was really not forthcoming. And we didn’t want to add to the liabilities but with the hope that the financial year is likely to move up to March, but we had to halt it,” he said.

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