by Lekan Olanrewaju
The Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin on Friday revealed that the Federal Government had approved the formation of a crude oil task force.
Speaking in Lagos during a stakeholders’ meeting on security in the oil and gas industry, he stated that the task force was necessary to curb the growing spate of crude oil theft.
“I quite agree with the collective decision of the stakeholders on ways to address oil theft in the country,” Air Marshall Petinrin said. “All the security agencies will ensure adequate monitoring of the country’s oil thefts to logical conclusion.”
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke also stated that over 180 million barrels of crude oil were lost daily, underscoring the need to control the losses.
According to her, the new task force will be made up of both indigenous and international experts.
“This crude oil theft affects both our environment and economic values in Nigeria,’’ she made known.
This comes as the Accountant-General of the Federation, Jonah Otunla announced that the country’s crude oil earnings had dipped by over N100 billion in April alone.
According to him, the country earned N626.18 billion ($3.95 billion) in oil revenues in April, which implied a 13.6% decrease from earnings of N726.77 billion in March.