Nigeria lost about eleven billion dollars to illegal refineries in the country due to crude oil theft and processing between 2009 and 2011 alone.
The revelation was made known at Wednesday’s plenary of the House of Representatives.
This was as members of parliament asked that experts be involved in the destruction of illegal refineries and seizure of ships laden with stolen crude products so as to prevent spillage that leads to environmental degradation in the Niger Delta.
Federal lawmakers say stolen crude and illegal refineries continue to bleed Nigeria’s finances with the country losing a whooping ten point nine billion between 2009 and 2011.
In a motion by Owoidighe Ekpoattai, members also heard how the process of destroying illegal refineries in the Niger Delta has caused more harm to the people of that region.
The lawmakers say the quest to acquire and process crude oil illegally by non-professionals is posing a great threat to the environment, destroying wild and aquatic life as well as stunting the economic growth of the nation.
But some members observed that the failure of security agents to involve experts in carrying out the destruction of the illegal refineries has continued to pose environmental hazards.
The House later mandated its committees on petroleum resources, upstream and downstream to liaise with relevant security agencies to ensure that relevant government officials and agencies are involved in the process of destroying illegal refineries or seizing boats laden with petroleum products to avoid spillage on land or water as well as minimize economic losses to the nation.
Both committees are to submit their reports in six weeks.