THE MILKING OF THE NIGERIAN STATE: INTERROGATING THE RISING THREAT OF CRUDE OIL THEFT

Goodnews Osah (PhD), Alfred Charles (PhD)

Abstract


The constant and frequent stealing of the Nigeria’s economic mainstay—crude oil—in the Niger Delta at different levels and by different actors is causing the country a fortune. The conservative average loss of 300,000 barrels a day because of the illegal activities of thieves in the production process is costing the federal government about $1.7 billion a month. However, despite all the measures taken by the government to stop this economic sabotage, crude oil theft, continues to increase in scope and dimensions. It has been proven that those who are involved in crude oil theft include employees of the International Oil Companies, retired and serving military and security personnel, officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, indigenous oil producers, top politicians and their enablers. This means, this economic sabotage cannot be stopped in the conventional way. Scientific solution, it appears, is the answer for now. The most promising means of combating fuel theft, in the literature at present, is fuel ‘marking’. Fuel marking allows stolen or diverted fuel to be identified and recovered, and it processes can be used as admissible scientific evidence to prosecute fuel thieves and smugglers in a court of law.


Keywords


Fuel marking, Oil bunkering, Organised crime, Multinational Oil companies, Crude oil

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