Crude oil theft, fuel crisis will not end until we deregulate – Dr. Muda

Solomon Ezeme

The burdens of crude oil theft and bunkering, persistent energy crisis across the country, may continue to escalate in the coming days if the Federal Government does not take swift actions to deregulate the petroleum downstream, Dr. Muda Yusuf, renowned economist and founder of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) made this known in a press statement obtained by EnergyDay on Friday.

The former Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in his company’s quarterly press statement on the Nigerian economy warned the Federal Government of impending collapse of the oil sector and bankruptcy of the country’s economy if decision to fast-track the implementation of deregulating the Nigeria oil and gas sector are not urgently implemented

He said that the current oil theft and smuggling in the country will persist as smugglers are aware of the wide gaps between the cost of petroleum in Nigeria as compared with other countries.

“The outlook is that the scale of petroleum products smuggling will increase because of the impact on relative prices of the hike in crude oil price. The price differential between the cost of petroleum in Nigeria [which is heavily subsidized] and the cost of petroleum in other countries is widening by the day. Thus, the incentive for smuggling has increased.”

Dr. Muda also explained that Nigeria is failing to optimize the revenue opportunities and global oil-industry relevance presented by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war which led to increases in prices and cost of energy products globally.