A former senator, Shehu Sani, says security agencies connive with oil thieves to steal the nation’s crude oil from its shores.
Sani laid the allegation in a tweet on Wednesday.
He said that the nation has been living in self-denial over the issue of oil theft.
Sani, who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th Senate, said it was impossible to steal crude oil from Nigeria’s shores without the connivance of the nation’s defence and security agencies, whom he called “collaborators and beneficiaries”.
His comment came barely a day after the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari said that churches and mosques were being used as stores for stolen petroleum products in the country.
It also came barely two weeks after a supertanker, MV HEROIC IDUN, was arrested by the Navy in Equatorial Guinea when it evaded arrest in Nigeria after it was seen around the AKPO Oil Field on August 7.
The supertanker with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number 9858058 was suspected of attempting to load crude oil illegally in Nigeria.
The ship with 26 crew comprising 16 Indians, eight Sri Lankans, one Polish and one Filipino, was first interrogated by the NNS GONGOLA on Nigerian waters but bolted and was eventually arrested in Equatorial Guinea with the help of intelligence supplied to that country by the Nigerian Navy (NN).
Sani said, “It’s impossible to steal Nigeria’s crude oil from our shores without the active connivance of our defence and security agencies.
“They are collaborators and beneficiaries; We live in self denial.”
It’s impossible to steal Nigeria’s crude oil from our shores without the active connivance of our defence and security agencies.They are collaborators and beneficiaries;We live in self denial.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) August 31, 2022
Meanwhile, Channels TV reported on Monday that Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo described figures of the nation’s losses to oil theft “as outrageous and unrealistic”.
Alluding to reports that between 20,000 and 200,000 barrels of crude oil are being stolen daily in Nigeria, the Naval chief said 100,000 barrels of crude is the equivalent of 15.8 million litres of crude oil requiring a five-ton barge to make 3,160 trips to convey to a mother vessel within a day.
Gambo maintained that even if there were enough barges to do this, it was highly unlikely given the heightened presence of security forces in the creeks and estuaries as well as the subsisting operations specifically targeted at this type of criminal activity.