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Published: Wednesday June 18, 2014 MYT 5:20:05 AM
Updated: Wednesday June 18, 2014 MYT 5:20:05 AM

Nigeria losing $35 mln a day from oil theft - report

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria is losing an estimated $35 million (20.6 million pounds) a day from oil theft and needs to put a "full, final stop" to the growing black market for crude exports, according to a national conference report seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Africa's largest economy and top oil producer has been struggling with oil theft for years, with much of the stolen crude leaving the country in tankers.

The energy committee of Nigeria's national conference said in a report submitted this week the losses were "equivalent to $35 million each day," or roughly a quarter of Nigeria's annual revenue. It called on Abuja to "bring this racket to a full, final stop".

"The potential gains should clearly outweigh the cost of any intense security operation to stamp out this economic sabotage," the committee said in the 71-page document, which has not been made public.

Delegates from around the country have been meeting in Abuja for the national conference, which was convened by President Goodluck Jonathan in March with the aim of examining longstanding problems in Africa's most populous country.

(Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Keiron Henderson and Sonya Hepinstall)

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