he sand is still hot under our feet. The oil thieves must have run the illegal oil refinery – hidden from the sea by thickets of mangrove – until just a short while ago. “Destroy everything, boys,” orders the commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) unit, Helen Amakiri. Her job is to combat oil theft, estimated to cost Nigeria a tenth of its annual oil production. It’s a rate of loss that has dethroned the country as Africa’s largest oil producer – Angola now has a bigger output.
A paramilitary NSCDC trooper obeys Amakiri by firing his automatic weapon into the rusty oil containers at close range, setting them on fire. The flames stink sweetly of diesel. It’s pouring with rain as we surge away in speedboats, the rising column of black smoke smudging the sky.
Source: the Guardian