Nigeria’s government revenues slumped 42 percent in July due to oil theft and production outages, the accountant general, underscoring how oil theft is damaging public finances this year.
State revenues fell to 498 billion naira ($3 billion), the lowest monthly earnings this year and down from 863 billion naira in June.
Oil theft has cut government earnings in several months this year, and by more than last year, and July was particularly badly hit.
Military in the restless Niger Delta say they are renewing efforts to catch oil thieves, while the Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke says she is reaching out to foreign governments to help stop the buying of Nigeria’s stolen oil.
“This was due to continuous theft of crude oil, leakages, pipeline breaks at various terminals, compressor failure and repair work,” Accountant General Jonah Otunla told reporters.
Shell Nigeria shut its 150,000 barrel per day Trans Niger pipeline on July 11 after a leak was detected, barely a week after the company re-opened the pipeline following the repair of some crude theft points.
Criminal gangs frequently tap into exposed pipelines in the winding waterways and swamps in the Niger Delta, siphoning off tens of thousands of barrels a day.
Read more at Reuters.