UN report says Nigeria lost about $2.8bn to oil related crimes during the course of 2018

NIGERIA lost an estimated $2.8bn during the course of 2018 due to oil-related crimes according to a recent report by the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (Unowas).


In the report, which covered the period from July 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, there was also an increase in drug trafficking throughout West Africa and the Sahel. It, however, attributed the loss of revenue to maritime crime, oil bunkering and the theft of crude oil from pipelines and facilities.


It read: “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 $2.8bn 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. In Benin, the Gambia and Nigeria, more than 50kg of cocaine were seized between July and October by joint airport interdiction task forces.


“During the same period, joint airport interdiction task forces seized more than 6kg of methamphetamines, 8kg of heroin and 2.6 tonnes of cannabis. Drug production across the region was also reportedly on the rise, with more than 100kg of ephedrine and phenacetin seized by competent authorities."


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


In addition, the report said the spike in the conflict between farmers and herders was closely linked with demographic pressures, desertification and the attendant loss of grazing reserves and transhumance 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.


Furthermore, it said 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.