Fuel Subsidy and Oil thieves stole $14B in 2011 – Okonjo-Iweala

LAGOS— Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has disclosed that Nigeria lost  $14 billion in 2011 to oil theft and fraud in the allocation of a controversial fuel subsidy.

In an interview with Financial Times of London, the Finance Minister said the trade in stolen oil led to a 17 per cent fall in official oil sales in April, or about 400,000 barrels per day.

“We have to get very serious about the bunkering issue. If we can stop the amount that is stolen, we can beef up the excess crude account faster,” she said, referring to the rainy-day account where savings accrue above a benchmark price for oil, set at $72. This holds more than $4bn,  Okonjo-Iweala said.

But those funds could be targeted to supplement this year’s budget for the fuel subsidy which has already been largely depleted.

LAGOS— Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has disclosed that Nigeria lost  $14 billion in 2011 to oil theft and fraud in the allocation of a controversial fuel subsidy.

In an interview with Financial Times of London, the Finance Minister said the trade in stolen oil led to a 17 per cent fall in official oil sales in April, or about 400,000 barrels per day.

“We have to get very serious about the bunkering issue. If we can stop the amount that is stolen, we can beef up the excess crude account faster,” she said, referring to the rainy-day account where savings accrue above a benchmark price for oil, set at $72. This holds more than $4bn,  Okonjo-Iweala said.

But those funds could be targeted to supplement this year’s budget for the fuel subsidy which has already been largely depleted.

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