Nigeria loses $1.35bn to oil theft in six months – NEC

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N100bn approved for National Livestock Transformation Plan

By Hans Racheal & Yusuf Abdullahi, Abuja

The National Economic Council (NEC), on Thursday said that Nigeria has lost 22.6 million barrels of oil to the activities of petroleum pipeline vandalism and stealing of crude oil in the first six months of this year.

The quantity lost is estimated at $1.35 billion (N481.95 billion). This is as NEC has said that the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP is different from Ruga and that the sum of N100 billion has been approved and that the program is voluntary for states. Briefing State House Correspondents after the end of NEC, meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State said if the loss was not checked Nigeria will lose $2.7 billion by the end of the year.

He said that the sub-committee of NEC which he chaired has recommended to the Council the need to restructure the maintenance and ownership of pipelines in the country. The recommendations included prosecution of criminals and the creation of a special court to handle the cases. He said the committee also recommended that NNPC should endeavor to engage the National Intelligence Agency to track countries benefiting from the stolen crude oil.

According to him, the Council resolved that the recommendations should be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the Minister of Petroleum. Also, briefing, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi said that his committee, NLTP submitted report to the Council and proposed N100 billion budget for states that are willing to engage in livestock.

He said that participation by states is voluntary and that the Federal Government is to contribute 80 per cent of the budget while interested states will and the private sector provide 20 per cent, land and other logistics. Governor Umahi also said that only Nigerians will be beneficiary of the NLTP.

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