Nigeria loses $7b investment to Benin, Ghana, others


NIGERIA has lost about $7billion oil investment to Ghana, Benin Republic and other countries in West Africa subregion, in the last five years, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said.

The country also lost huge job opportunities, in the process of trading in oil and related activities with her neighbours in the region, a document from DPR, has shown.

According to the document, Nigeria was said to have lost $7billion to bunkering and other criminal activities between 2014 and 2015.

A source in DPR told The Nation, that over 70 per cent of the vessels that enter Nigeria were used for bunkering. The source added that many of the vessels  prefer to fuel in neighbouring countries where the process is seamless as against doing so in Nigeria.

The source said: “Bunkering is an illegitimate business. We have looked inward and discovered that bureaucratic bottlenecks among inter-government agencies remained a major factor responsible for this loss of revenue. And that has discouraged investment in that sector. He added that Nigeria would have made more money, if the vessels used for bunkering were refilled in the country, insisting that the country would have made a minimum of $1 billion as revenue from the $7 billion investment.

According to the source, efforts made in the past to review the policies around bunkering failed, because there was no support from the government. He said the DPR  was working on a new regulatory regime to make the sector more investor friendly by carrying along all stakeholders in order for the country to maximise the benefits inherent in that sub-sector.

‘‘We are trying to avoid the mistakes of the past and that is why we are taking out time so that we don’t fall into the pitfalls of the past. But very soon, a soon framework for that sub-sector will be unveiled very soon,’’ the source added.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, had in July said Nigeria lost about $25 billion yearly to illegal oil bunkering, piracy and other illegal businesses on the nation waters.

Amaechi said perpetrators of illegal oil bunkering could be called the seventh largest oil producers in Africa because of the volume of oil they deal in. – The Nation

– Nov. 11, 2019 @ 8:35 GMT |

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