Nigeria is the largest oil producer on the African continent. However, much of this black gold escapes the control of the central state. Nigeria’s oil production exceeds 2,000,000 barrels a day. Now 6% of this production is stolen every day, which is around 120,000 barrels. Alarming figures from a recent report by the Nigerian Petroleum Production Company (NNPC).
From January to June, an interval of six months, more than 22 million barrels of oil disappeared from the formal circuit in Nigeria. Either a deficit of 6 to 11 billion euros in a country whose operation is very dependent on the manna that represents the black gold. Nigeria’s oil accounts for 90 percent of foreign currency inflows. All this stolen oil is, therefore, a huge shortfall for the Nigerian state which is struggling to fight against this sell-off of its wealth.
Nigeria has difficulties in countering this scourge because of the increasingly sophisticated methods of flying oil traffickers who are sometimes real organizations operating both on land and at sea. Their methods range from sabotage of pipelines to siphoning. glutinous liquid to clandestine refineries in the Niger Delta, but also in the vicinity of the economic capital Lagos. The theft of crude oil is well organized in the country and enjoys many complicities both nationally and internationally. The amount of oil stolen is rising in President Buhari’s country and may soon double if nothing is done.