Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tackling crude theft and corruption on the coasts

Business Day
2 February 2012

Nigeria loses thousands of barrels of crude oil daily to crooks and thieves seemingly flourishing unimpeded on the coast lines of the nation, particularly in the Niger Delta area. Reports suggest that these unlawful activities cost the country over 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day, estimated at almost $4 billion.

However, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is reportedly taking the bull by the horns to tackle this ugly trend. The initiative is aimed at trying to get what is called vessel by vessel data. NEITI is expected to work with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to identify all the crude oil lifting vessels on Nigerian waters.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a NEITI source told BusinessDay, “Once we have this, all we need to do is to install what we call a GPS device on each of these vessels so that at a glance on my PC I know where each vessel is in this country and once it is leaving Nigeria’s waters, longitude and latitude we know that it is going out of Nigeria’s waters.

Immediately, I will call NIMASA, I may call their operations controller at sea and say vessel with registration number so and so is leaving Nigeria’s territorial waters can you tell me the volume or crude it has on that vessel, everything becomes automated.

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