Nigeria loses $2.8b to oil crimes

Nigeria lost an estimated $2.8 billion in revenues last year to oil-related crimes, report from the United Nations (UN) has shown.

Port Harcourt Refinery

Titled: Report by the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and released in New York, it covered July 1 to December last year.

It said: “Maritime crime and piracy off the coast of West Africa continued to pose a threat to peace, security and development in the region.

“Oil-related crimes resulted in the loss of nearly $2.8 billion in revenues last year in Nigeria, according to government figures.

“Between January 1 and November 23, there were 82 reported incidents of maritime crime and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.’’

The report obtained by The Nation, also noted that compared to the situation reflected in the previous report, there was an increase in drug trafficking throughout West Africa and the Sahel. In Benin, the Gambia and Nigeria, more than 50 kilogrammes of cocaine were impounded between July and October by joint airport interdiction task forces.

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During the same period, joint airport interdiction task forces seized more than six kilogrammes of methamphetamines, eight kilogramme of heroin (double the amount in the first half of 2018) and 2.6 tonnes of cannabis.

“Drug production across the region was also reportedly on the rise, with more than 100 kilogrammes of ephedrine and phenacetin seized by competent authorities,’’ the report said.

During the reporting period, it said conflicts between farmers and herders resulted in loss of lives, destruction of livelihoods and property, population displacements and human rights violations and abuses. The report said outbreaks of violence were recorded in many states across the country, although with more frequency in the Middle Belt region, as well as Adamawa and Taraba states.

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The report stated that the causes of the clashes are closely linked to demographic pressures, desertification and the attendant loss of grazing reserves and trans humance routes, which had been exacerbated by climate change.

Others were challenges in the implementation of effective land management and climate change adaptation policies, and limited enforcement of existing pastoral laws. Political and economic interests, the erosion of traditional conflict resolution mechanisms, and weapons proliferation, were other factors attributed to the increased cases of herders-farmers conflict.

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