Africa’s largest oil producer Nigeria is planning to deploy drones in order to prevent oil theft, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the company said the measures will include arming the navy with equipment and working with law enforcement to increase the presence of the security forces in the pipeline areas.
According to Oilprice.com, Nigeria is the country with the highest incidents of crude oil theft in the world, with 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Managing Director of the NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, said his country recorded around 4,000 theft attempts between June 2014 and June 2015 in various production pipelines.
"The best security for these pipelines lies with the communities,” said Kachikwu.
“We are trying to create enough incentives for them to see these pipelines as their own."
Nigeria highly depends on oil income with about 80 percent of its revenue and 95 percent of foreign reserves, but officials say that the stolen crude oil from pipelines cost around $1.7 billion per month which amounts to 7.7 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.