Nigerian Oil and Maritime Crime: UN Reports a $2.8bn Revenue loss in 2018
In a United Nations Report on the UNOWAS activities, its Secretary- General stated that Nigeria lost an estimated $2.8 billion in revenues in 2018, chiefly due to maritime and oil related crimes, taking from government figures. Making a comparison, there was a feared increase in drug trafficking throughout the regions, citing peculiar cases discovered by security agents and the JAITF in Nigeria and Gambia.
Meanwhile, a different report stated that the UN expects Nigeria’s 2.1 percent economic growth projection for 2019 to drive West Africa’s growth forecast of 2.9 percent. The report noted that “Africa’s economic growth is projected to pick up to 3.5 per cent in 2018 and 3.7 per cent in 2019 or 3.3 per cent and 3.5 per cent in 2018 and 2019, respectively”, adding that the country left recession in 2017, owing to a spring back in oil production and increase in fiscal expenditure. In the report, foreign exchange rates, foreign exchange reserves, decreased inflation and oil prices were all improved prospects paving the way for production recovery. However, it outlined “structural challenges”, including a foreseeable “return of militant attacks on oil pipelines” and a continued “failure to broaden the non- oil revenue base.”