Wednesday, March 4, 2015 9:51 am
The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, has disclosed that Nigeria loses an estimated 100,000 barrels of crude oil valued at N1.18 billion daily to oil thieves in the country. This amounts to an annual loss of N433.62 billion.
These thieves, it is believed, have always taken advantage of Nigeria’s porous territorial waters to perpetrate their acts against the government.
Speaking at the 2015 budget defence of the Nigerian Navy before the Senate Committee on Defence (Navy) on Tuesday, Jibrin, represented by the Navy’s Chief of Logistics, Rear Admiral Peter Agba, said the information was picked by a recent disclosure by the Chatham House.
Though the Navy submitted a capital budget of N205.4 billion for 2015, he said the Federal Ministry of Finance reduced the figure by 90 percent to arrive at a paltry N8 billion.
According to him, 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.
He said the equipment are needed to improve naval operations and the welfare of personnel while listing the achievements of the Navy to include the arrest of 84 vessels, and 155 suspected oil thieves in 2014 as well as the destruction of 120 illegal oil refineries, 29 barges, 93 boats and 1, 259 auxiliary equipment and other items.