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Elumelu

OBINNA EZUGWU

Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Tony Elumelu, has called on Nigeria’s federal government to take a closer look at the theft of Nigeria’s oil, noting that the menace requires urgent attention and action.

Elumelu who took to twitter to react to a report that the country’s forex reserve is falling despite rise in crude oil prices in the international market, said it was a shame that while “other oil producing countries are enjoying the benefits of the peak in crude oil prices, Nigeria’s FX reserves are not benefiting from this crude price increase.”

Elumelu noted that the country lost as much as $3.5bn of its revenue to crude oil theft in 2021 and called for more attention to be paid on oil oil theft, while suggesting that there might be larger economic sabotage involved.

“The brazen daylight theft that is bleeding our oil reserves makes me wonder if there is no larger involvement and protection of these criminals,” he said.

“Two weeks ago, while addressing senior officers of the @DefenceHQNigeria, I raised the issue of oil theft in this country and the national emergency that it has become.

“Last year alone, Nigeria lost over $3.5bn of its revenue to crude oil theft! Imagine if this had been added to our national coffers or used to bolster CBN’s intervention facility to stimulate investment in the gas value chain?”

The founder of Heirs Holding noted that there is no better time to reap the benefit of the country’s natural endowments than now, especially given the transition to renewable energy.

“I call on our Government to take a closer look at the theft of Nigeria’s oil production. It requires urgent attention and action,” he said.

“There is no better time for us to reap the benefits of our natural endowments than now, especially as the world is talking about energy transition.

“If we do not act now while our oil is still valuable, we may miss yet another opportunity to accelerate our industrialization and lift our people out of poverty.”

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