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UN convention urged to take action against Nigeria’s oil theft

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THE Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called on the ongoing 11th Session of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) in Vienna, Austria, to take action to expose and deal with all those connected with oil theft in Nigeria in order to stop the economic haemorrhage.

In a statement signed on Wednesday by the Executive Director of ANEEJ Rev David Ugolor, who is also attending the convention in Austria, the Network noted that delegates at the 11th Session of the UNTOC cannot afford to end the meeting without committing to deal with the issue of oil theft which for years has threatened the economy of Nigeria and other oil-producing countries in the Gulf of Guinea, thereby exacerbating poverty in the region.

“We call on the 11th Session of the UNTOC to declare oil theft as a global threat to global financial system and the fight against climate crisis.

“Statistics of oil theft among major oil-producing countries show that Nigeria is losing as much as 400,000 barrels of oil per day which equates to losses of US$1.7-billion a month. This is a huge loss compared to a total theft of 5,000 to 10,000 bpd and 2,000 to 3,000 bpd in Mexico and Indonesia respectively.” Ugolor said.

He noted that the Russia-Ukraine war has further put pressure on the world to increase fossil fuel production to meet global energy demand.

However, Nigeria has not profited from the increased demand as transnational oil thieves who have been in the throes of the Nigerian economy have cashed in on the situation to further bleed the nation’s economy aided by Nigerian government officials.

ANEEJ’s Monitoring and Evaluation Manager Sandra Eguagie, also noted in the statement that oil theft was a serious transboundary organized crime capable of undermining development and democracy in Africa.

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She further said oil theft was perpetrated by a criminal network beyond Africa which feeds the illegal market that is sustaining the global illicit financial economy.

“We are here to flag the issue of oil theft as a serious organized crime that is fleecing the Nigerian economy. We want action from the UNTOC,” Eguagie added, urging the UNTOC to take deliberate actions to end oil theft in Nigeria.

Pursuant to article 32 of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, a Conference of the Parties to the Convention was established to improve the capacity of States Parties to combat transnational organized crime and to promote and review the implementation of this Convention.

The 11th Session of the Conference of Parties is taking place in Vienna from 17th – 22nd October 2022.

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