Nigeria has no record of crude oil being produced, exported ― Falana

Latest News – Tribune / Ayomide Odekanyin – Lagos / 12 hours ago

A human rights lawyer and activist, Mr Femi Falana on Tuesday revealed that Nigeria has no record of the crude oil it produces or exports on a daily basis.

Falana described the trend as shameful.

Falana spoke on Tuesday at roundtable forum organised by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in Lagos.

He said the recent report by the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) showed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and oil majors had yet to remit $22 billion and N481 billion to the Federation Account.

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“Nigeria is the only oil producing country that does not know how much crude oil is produced and the government has refused to obtain the meter that would provide an accurate record.

“A study was done between 2011 and 2014 by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on how much-unrecorded oil was taken out of Nigeria.

“In one port alone at Philadelphia, United States, the difference between the oil recorded that was taken out from our port and the oil that arrived there was about 60 million barrels valued at $12.7 billion dollars,” Falana said.

He noted that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had been recovering stolen funds, they needed to do more to ensure that the humongous amount of money stolen from the oil sector was recovered.

According to him, these funds can be deployed for education, health and infrastructural development in the country, especially as over 13 million children are currently out of school.

He urged SERAP to challenge the non-implementation of the Deep Offshore and Inland Production Act which ought to have been enforced since 1993 but had been jettisoned by subsequent administrations.

“We must go to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure that we get the appropriate information as enshrined in the Freedom of Information Act (FOI),” he said.

A report which was presented at the forum further highlighted the pitfalls in the oil and gas sector.

“The Nigerian oil and gas sector has in the last 10-years witnessed its fair share of divestment by international oil companies, such as Shell, Total, Eni, and Chevron.

“These oil companies have divested their interests in oil blocks and marginal fields, many of which are Nigerian onshore assets.

“Meanwhile, the information received from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for the period between 2005 and 2015 revealed that CGT returns were filed for a total disposal of $8.6billion,” the report reads in part.

According to the report, this has resulted in huge losses in revenue to Nigeria as it gives the IOCs the leeway to file lower CGT returns.

It, therefore, called for an upward review of the CGT rates in Nigeria which was currently 10 per cent compared to the average of 16 per cent obtainable in the African continent.

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