Stop the Theft, a non-profit foundation has presented to the G8 the idea of implementing strategies that will curb and ultimately stop crude oil theft in Nigeria. Through the organization’s Stop the Theft campaign, which is headed by Ambassador Patrick Dele Cole, former international relations advisor to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the organization is bringing to focus an issue that is harshly affecting the country’s economy, This Day Live reported.
This Day Live also reported that the group’s objective is to make aware damaging business effects and consequences of crude oil theft, as well as engage with authorities to come up with long-term solutions that will stop the illegal practice. Over the weekend the group released a statement suggesting collaboration between sectors involved in the oil industry.
The group encouraged G8 leaders to put pressure on the federal government and influence them to make water territory security a top priority. Such measures will help prevent moving vessels that aid thieves in stealing crude oil, according to This Day Live.
“Stolen Nigerian crude oil is transported on internationally registered vessels, sold to international buyers, processed by international oil refineries and paid for using international bank accounts,” the organization said in the statement.”
“The environmental impact of the trade, and associated illegal oil refineries that process it in the creeks of the Niger Delta is devastating. A region already regarded as an environmental tragedy is being further degraded and efforts to rehabilitate the region cannot proceed until this illicit trade is contained.”
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In order to tackle the problem, the report noted that international leaders must come together as the theft process is being carried out and completed beyond the area in the Niger Delta where it’s stolen from. Prior to his passing, former President Umaru Musa Yar Adua began working toward an internationally focused plan than would combat oil theft in the region which accounts for $7 billion in losses, according to This Day Live.
“While we recognise that the Nigerian Government must play the lead role in the fight against oil theft, it cannot successfully put an end to the illicit trade acting alone,” the group continued in the statement. “Members of the international community must partner with Nigeria to develop and implement long-lasting solutions.”
That lost revenue, the report stated, halts the start of programs and initiatives that would contribute to economic growth. Stop the Theft would like the G8 to place crude oil theft on their agenda largely to aid in the transparency of tax dealings and trade, This Day Live Reported.