NGO calls for probe of Nigeria’s oil sales

An NGO, Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI), on Sunday urged the Federal Government to critically look into the nation’s oil sales in order to address revenue leakages.

This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory, by the NGO’s Director of Communications, Lee Bailey.

The statement, which noted that oil sales had constituted Nigeria’s biggest source of revenue, added that the management of the process had worsened in recent years.

It said that based on the NGO’s findings, a single swap contract could have cost the previous government the sum of $16.09 per barrel of oil in a year.

According to the statement, the emergence of a new government and the current budgetary shortfalls offer Nigeria its best chance to overhaul NNPC’s oil sales.

“Everyone from trading companies to Nigerian citizens are waiting to see how the new government will approach these transactions, including the allocation of new exports or swap contracts.

“Our research maps the current state of play and we suggest what issues reformers in Nigeria ought to urgently address,” the statement said.

The statement said measures should be put in place to curb revenue leakages, select oil buyers through competitive rather than political processes, and change of NNPC’s swap agreement.

It claimed that NNPC sold approximately one million barrels of oil a day, adding that some oil buyers were unqualified intermediaries who added little or no value to the deals.

The statement also claimed that from its findings, several contracts, including oil-for-fuel swap agreements, were opaque and contained unbalanced terms.

“Records indicate that NNPC retained an estimated $12.3 billion from the sale of 110 million barrels of oil for more than 10 years from a single block controlled by a subsidiary.

“In 2013, the treasury received only 58 per cent of the value of the $16.8 billion worth of oil NNPC had earmarked from its underperforming refineries,” the statement said.


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