Patrick Dele Cole, a politician from the oil-rich Niger Delta region, said 90% of the stolen oil is being shipped out of the country illegally.
He has launched a “Stop The Theft” campaign to end to the practice.
Nigeria is one of the world’s biggest oil producers but most of its people remain mired in poverty.
‘Day of reckoning’
The campaign is seeking to have ships tracked by satellite and for the money trail to be exposed.
“Once you start asking questions and throwing light on this problem, you have solved more than 50% of the problem,” said Mr Dele Cole, a veteran diplomat and former presidential adviser.
“I think you should send out a warning to those who being extremely rich, that their day of reckoning is coming.”