2023: Atiku promises to stop crude oil theft, outlines plans

THE presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has said that he would declare a deadline for the stoppage of crude oil theft in the Nigeria, if elected.

Abubakar, who was guest of the organised private sector at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) forum in Victoria Island, Lagos, today, said there is no reason for crude oil theft to persist in the country while other oil producing nations are benefiting.

The former vice president, however, said he would carefully assess the issue before giving a directive on it.

He said, “There would be a need for a proper assessment of those who are responsible for this. I am not in government, so I don’t know anything about it. I will call the agencies responsible to either stop it or go away. There is no reason why we should have crude oil theft when we should be benefiting.”

Responding to questions at the event, the PDP flagbearer agreed that the size of the government, and even that of the National Assembly, is large and promised to “rationalize it.”

oil theft
Crude Oil. Photo Source. Guardian Newspaper.

Abubakar said Nigeria faces an infrastructure financing deficit of approximately $3 trillion over the next 30 years, and the country would need a financing requirement of approximately $100 billion per annum, which he said cannot be met by the public sector. He revealed that Nigeria’s annual budget is only $30 billion.

He vowed to create jobs and income opportunities that would reduce the likelihood of youths being involved in crime and violence.

Abubakar said Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) had grown at an average rate of less than one per cent since the All Progressive Congress (APC) assumed power in 2015, adding that the current growth or 3.5 per cent masked the real challenges facing the economy.

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He reiterated his desire to sell off moribund refineries if given the opportunity to be in power.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) recently said it was losing 470,000 barrels of crude per day, amounting to $700 million monthly, due to oil theft.

The Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPMS), Bala Wunti, disclosed the figures during a tour of the facilities of the NNPCL.

Wunti said the pipelines, particularly those around the Bonny terminal, cannot function due to the activities of criminals.

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