Tony Elumelu, Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and founder of Heirs Holdings, on Thursday attributed the reason Nigeria has been unable to meet the crude oil quota allocated to it by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and benefit from high oil prices largely, to oil theft in the Niger Delta region
Elumelu, one of Nigeria’s A-list bankers, and astute financial guru bemoaned the situation on his Twitter handle, stating that he was aware of the overwhelming outcry over the parlous state of affairs in the country.
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Pointing to the absence of electricity for five days, hikes in the price of diesel, frightening food inflation, and many others, he said the country was virtually losing 95 per cent of oil production to thieves. “Look at the Bonny Terminal that should be receiving over 200k barrels of crude oil daily, instead it receives less than 3,000 barrels, leading the operator @Shell to declare force majeure.
“Why are we paying taxes if our security agencies can’t stop this? It is clear that the reason Nigeria is unable to meet its OPEC production quota is not because of low investment but because of theft, pure and simple!”
Nigeria has consistently failed to meet its crude oil production quota as allocated by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the last two years.
While the oil cartel allocated 1.7 Mbps quota to Nigeria, the country has been hobbled by twin challenges of oil theft and low investment in the petroleum industry by International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country with an average production level of 1.32 Mbps recorded in the first two months of this year.
Elumelu, who is also the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), wondered why a country that is so rich in natural resources, has 90 percent of its citizens living in hardship and poverty.
“I have often said that access to electricity is critical for our development, alleviation of poverty and hardship. And speaking of security, our people are afraid! Meanwhile, oil-producing countries are smiling as their foreign reserves rise. What is Nigeria’s problem? We need to hold our leaders more accountable! Elections are coming – security and resources need to be everyone’s agenda – let’s be vocal about our nation’s priority.
“Evil prevails when good people are silent. We need to be vocal about 2023. Let’s focus on Nigeria. Demand and advocate for leaders that deliver. In 2023, Nigeria must be on a strong trajectory for progress and development,” Elumelu wrote on his Twitter handle.