Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday lamented the fact that Nigeria loses about 400, 000 barrels of oil to thieves daily.
Going by the current price of crude oil in the international market that amounts to about N4.8 billion daily.
The vice president made the remark in Ogun State during the 10th Anniversary of Crescent University, Abeokuta, where he delivered a lecture titled “Nigerian Economy and the Future”.
He said while Nigeria loses 400,000 barrels of oil daily, a country like Ghana survives on less than 150, 000 barrels per day.
Osinbajo was speaking about the new government’s plan to revamp the economy and increase power supply.
“The militancy in the south has also reduced oil production significantly and that is why any form of extremism must be put down not only because of the economy but for the unity and peace of the country and that is why all the recent initiatives are important because we must deal with the question of economy”, he said.
“In the petroleum sector, vandalism also contributes in no small measure to the drop in the output of the sector. 400, 000 barrels are stolen on daily basis while countries like Ghana only survive on less than 150, 000 barrels”.
Mr. Osinbajo said the government will prioritize the security of the oil sector, adding that transparency would be the watchword of the present administration.
On power, the vice president said the government will increase Nigeria’s current 13, 000 megawatts generating capacity, and would also work to increase the transmission capacity, which he said, stood at 5, 000 megawatts.
He said the 10% Gross Domestic Product growth promised by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration can only come to reality if the power sector is made to produce more megawatts.
Mr. Osinbajo hinted on the Federal Government’s plan to consider privatizing transmission of power, which is still in the hands of the federal government, saying the current privatization only covers the distribution aspect.
“The 10% GDP growth annually cannot happen until we increase the supply in power sector. While we will maintain the generating capacity which stands at 13, 000 megawatts, we must also increase the transmission capacity which currently stands at 5, 000 megawatts, without that, it doesn’t matter the number of megawatts we generate.
“We must improve the generating capacity and also improve the evacuating capacity. The gas is there but the infrastructure that can transmit the gas is not in place, we observe that the project has been awarded for long but not completed; we will ensure the completion of the infrastructures while we also look at the privatization of the transmission”, he said.
Mr. Osinbajo, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to be patient and allow the new government some time to put things in good shape, assuring that the administration will deliver on its campaign promises.