• Oil & Gas - News
  • Updated: March 31, 2023

EFCC Boss Requests Early Cargo Declaration To Combat Oil Theft

Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has urged major Nigerian oil producing businesses to take into account the adoption of advance cargo declaration on crude export as a measure to deter oil theft.

The head of the EFCC expressed confidence that advance cargo declaration of crude export with unique tracking will not only prevent the theft of Nigerian crude at the export terminals but will also deter off takers who would be unwilling to accept such cargoes.

He spoke while members of the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, were on a courtesy visit to the commission.

"We need to have an advance cargo declaration on our crude oil export because we discovered that there is theft even at the terminals.

"Unfortunately, IOCs like yours insisted that there is nothing like that and it is impossible to happen, according to a statement released by the EFCC's spokesman Wilson Uwujaren in Abuja.

“But I believe we have conducted a case here at the EFCC where we were able to establish that crude that was taken is different from the one that was discharged and we keep on wondering, what is happening?

“So, that means there is a problem. And I believe you know what advance cargo declaration means, you have to declare in advance what your cargo is carrying and then you will be given the unique cargo tracking note on all the exports that you are making.

“No cargo that is from Nigeria should be accepted if it doesn’t have the tracking note”, he said.

He noted that the measure was one of the suggestions made by a committee that looked into the 2014 theft of Nigerian crude but was regrettably never carried out.

He urged the oil executives to reconsider the advice because it might offer a solution to the problem of oil theft.

He expressed regret over the fact that the Nigerian refineries had been completely shut down, which had led to a void that illicit refiners were trying to fill by producing adulterated diesel. 

He pointed out that had the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited refineries been operating even at 10% of capacity, it would have been easier to gauge demand pressures and the illegal refiner would have faced fewer challenges.

Bawa reassured IOCs that the commission remained devoted and ready to work with all parties both inside and outside the nation to put an end to the problem of oil theft.

“We are always open, part of our core values here is collaboration, we can’t do this thing alone and that is why we are always at the forefront of reaching out to stakeholders both within and outside the country to ensure that we share information, we share intelligence and collaboratively we are taking it to the next level.”

Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria Ltd and Chairman of OPTS, Mr. Rick Kennedy, stated earlier that they were at the EFCC to forge partnerships and look for solutions to reduce the scourge of crude oil theft in the industry as well as its effects on the environment and the economy.

“We wanted to make those introductions, develop some relationships and seek some opportunities for collaboration since we believe all of us are impacted by these sets of issues.

"As industry operators we have significant concern to work closely with the government of Nigeria.

“We truly appreciate all of the efforts especially under the last many months and we have seen the improvements with respect to reduction to oil theft but this still persists and clearly it has a big impact in a number of ways,” he said.

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Lawrence Agbo
Lawrence Agbo

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