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Theft of Crude Oil Costs Nigeria N16.25 Trillion, says NEITI Boss

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During the interactive session in Abuja, Orji handed the report over to the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Bamidele Salam.

According to the report, N16.25 trillion has been lost to continuous crude oil theft, as verified by industry operators and stakeholders.

In addition, NEITI revealed that some privately owned oil companies and government agencies failed to remit over $8.3 billion in revenue to the Federation Account, violating financial regulations.

To address this issue, Orji stated that NEITI is collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offenses Commission, and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit to recover the funds and deposit them into the federation account.

Orji shared, “I have revenues earned from oil and gas since 1999, as well as a breakdown of subsidy payments made since it became a scandal in 2005. As of 2021, the country has paid $74.386 billion in subsidy. We also have calculations of what that translates to.”

Regarding the losses due to crude oil theft, the NEITI boss explained, “During our work, we have facilitated many recoveries for the government. We found discrepancies between what was paid and what was received, with money mysteriously disappearing. Poor record keeping and carelessness contributed to this issue.”

NEITI released its report on September 25, 2023, and expressed willingness to cooperate with the Public Accounts Committee.

Orji further stated, “In that report alone, we identified over $8.3 billion in unremitted funds from government agencies and companies. This is concerning, especially when the government is borrowing funds. We are presenting this information with evidence and data.”

NEITI will also release a report on fiscal allocation and statutory disbursements on November 9, completing the series of reports for the year.

Orji emphasized the importance of scrutinizing the allocation and utilization of government funds, including the 13% derivation fund and funds received by institutions like the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund.

He concluded, “It is not just about sharing and allocation. Ensuring that the money reaches the right people, the government, and the intended recipients has been a significant challenge.”

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