Over 80% of Nigeria’s crude oil stolen — Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo stated that more than 80 percent of Nigeria’s crude oil was being stolen.

In Abuja, during the launch of a book titled “Court and Politics” by Dr. Umar Ardo, a former associate of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former President Olusegun Obasanjo made a startling revelation.

He indicated that over 80 percent of Nigeria’s crude oil is being pilfered. This contributes significantly to the economic distress facing the nation, as unlike other oil-producing countries, Nigeria cannot accurately track its oil production due to rampant theft.

Obasanjo, represented by former Niger State governor Babangida Aliyu, highlighted crude oil theft as a primary factor contributing to Nigeria’s economic decline.

He noted that while the crude oil quota stands at about two million barrels per day, over 1.7 million barrels are being siphoned illegally.

Regarding the debate on whether Nigeria should revert to the parliamentary system, Obasanjo expressed that there is nothing inherently flawed with the presidential system itself. However, he emphasized that Nigerians often fail to abide by the established rules, which exacerbates governance challenges.

Meanwhile, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, former Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and ex-Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), has voiced his criticism of Nigeria’s leadership, asserting that it has failed the populace. Abdullahi underscored the urgent need for the country to be rescued from the prevailing leadership deficit.

He called for a proper political culture, adding that no system is cast in gold.

Abdullahi said, “Enough of our failures. Something else must give way to our failures. We have failed this country. This must stop.”

He said, “Time has come for us to go back to the drawing boards to rescue this country.”

The former chairman NEF lamented that Nigeria with a population of over 200 million people is struggling to generate 4,000 megawatts of power.

According to him, “Enough is enough of our failure; we must agree that we failed enough.

“I visited Dantata and he was very angry with me, saying the people of the North have failed the North and Nigeria. Until the North accepts that they have failed the North and sit together to discuss the way forward, there won’t be progress.

“We gathered in 1978 when we wanted to return to civilian rule. We were to discuss why the system of 1961 failed but we were shocked when they said the parliamentary system of government was not going to be discussed and that we should go for the federal system of government.

“And they gave us two options: that of the French and America. And now we have practised the presidential system for 24 years and it has failed and I will score it F9.

“Time has come for us to go back to the drawing board so that we can save this country,” Abdullahi said.