Countless volumes have been written about the many problems that plague Nigeria's oil industry. The Nigerian people and economy simply do not get full value for their oil because of massive corruption, inefficiency and uncountable 'leakages' of the oil along the entire value chain.
One of those leakages is unaccounted for oil that finds its way to other countries in West Africa, benefiting those countries with cheap fuel but prejudicing the Nigerian economy.
For example, it is said that as much as 75% of Benin's fuel supply is smuggled in from neighboring Nigeria. Measures to stop this fairly open trade in Nigeria are half-hearted, partly because it is an officially 'underground' but substantial economy on which many people depend.
What the article does not address is that the smuggling operations may also thrive because they service needs much more efficiently than the plodding, bureaucratic official channels which are also riddled with many levels of corruption.
The Guardian's October 2 2012 story, ' Trade in smuggled fuel from Nigeria oils economies of west Africa,' is sad but interesting reading.