Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, will Monday June 4 in Washington DC address the 7th edition of the Nigeria-US Bi-national Commission scheduled to take place at the United States Institute of Peace on K street in Washington D.C.
The two-day event will be the first time that four of the Bi-national Commission working groups have been convened simultaneously, and would focus on the themes of governance, transparency, and integrity; regional security cooperation; energy and investment; and agriculture and food security.
The event will be co-chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru and the U. S Deputy Secretary of State Bill Buru with participation from senior representatives from several U.S government agencies and Nigerian officials from the national and regional level, according to a statement from the Department of State.
Mr. Ribadu, a former anti-corruption czar, is expected to speak on the issue of oil theft and its implications for the national economy at the Washington meeting. At a recent security meeting in Abuja, Mr. Ribadu described oil theft as not only a huge revenue leak threatening the Nigerian economy but an existential challenge with grave implications for the sovereign status of the nation.
“The truth is that depending on whose statistics you are endorsing today, our country loses about a quarter of a million barrels of crude oil per day to theft, not to mention spillage, and I challenge you all to imagine the revenue implications of that loss, ladies and gentlemen,” Mr. Ribadu told his audience.
He told the experts that conservative losses compute to about $25 Million dollars in revenue leakage daily, adding up to about $9 billion annually, “and at that level, brothers and friends, oil theft has become, perhaps, the leading threat to our sovereignty” he remarked.
He also told the meeting that his Task Force on Petroleum Revenue which was rounding up its work and had organised the meeting as a sensitization programme to elicit a new consensus from leading stakeholders in the security field on how to end the problems of bunkering, piracy, and kidnapping in the “major resource belt” of the nation, which Mr. Ribadu described as the “strategic asset base of the country which requires new models of compassionate and workable policy responses.”