$50BN FRAUD UNEARTHED IN PETROLEUM INDUSTRY

PRESS STATEMENT

Enormous and massive corruption in the petroleum industry has been unearthed by Dr. Okechukwu Ani of NICAN-USA Limited on the orders of the President, through two instrumentalities of office – the Ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives on the Investigation of Revenue Leakages and all activities of the Department of Petroleum Resources and by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Citizens Watch Advocacy Initiative (CWAI), a pressure and public policy advocacy, research and civil society group committed to fighting corruption and upholding the laws and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by promoting transparency, accountability, good governance and deepening democracy, has swung into action to get to the roots of the fraud.

With this vexatious 50 billion USD siphoned which is accruable to Nigeria government in the form of taxes, royalties and penalties from crude oil and gas extraction, exploration and exploitation by International oil and gas companies, marginal oil and gas field operators and owners, users of facilities charged to the National Inland Waterways Authority and Deep Off Shores, CWAI is constrained to issue the following statements.

* That billions of funds that are supposed to be used to develop the entire country on capital projects are carted away by unknown and unethical practices by major oil employees as could be detected from records in the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and . Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), but also concealed by both internal and external auditors without audit query for a long time. There is no law or statue granting NNPC employees exemptions or waivers in compliance to the stipulations and provisions of prevailing production sharing contract as applicable to venture operators, as it applies to receiving tax oil allotment, allocations and compliance to remittances referred to as Crude Oil/Royalty Tax through the period 2007 – 2016 as revealed by the investigations.

* That the unveiling act of concealment, diversion to person’s use, could be adequately identified from disparity in the records available at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) where and when compliance is effected by senior line managers of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and National Petroleum Investment Management Services(NAPIMS), who are serving or retired during the period under reference as well as visible notation of these employees’ larger than life ‘lifestyle’ above their legitimate means. That these wanton practices, corruption, fraudulent acts perpetrated by these individuals, cronies and cohorts, have brought the nation to its knees today. Most Nigerians are not aware of the workings of the oil and gas industry vis-à-vis production output, monetary computation and formulation including pricing at the various market rates which have led to billions of US dollars being siphoned by these individuals in the hydrocarbon sector.

* That to date, major oil production companies in the country by the aforesaid act or commission or omission through their employees, agents, contractors, conspired, connived, collaborated and presented such incorrect daily production volumes thereon and had stolen, misappropriated the commonwealth of Nigerians from 2011 through 2017 to date. That to date, no available Ministerial exemptions or waivers are known to have been issued or conveyed by the DPR to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) management. That designated officials in both DPR and NAPIMS have consistently compromised and received favours and occasionally omitted or committed dereliction of their duties and functions. These unethical precedents have pervaded the hydro-carbon industry for decades which have led to the fleecing of the nation’s economic wealth, job loss, unemployment and various social vices and ills in the society.

The Duke Oil Company is allegedly an example of what the industry has done to Nigeria today. The reason the company was brought to Nigeria was to cushion the global effect of the oil and gas, but unfortunately it has not done anything to assist the country during the recession period and Nigerians are suffering for it today. This is a company that was registered in Panama and United Kingdom, but not in Nigeria, and consistently holds the concession of Nigeria’s condensite and crude oil term contract allocation of 90,000 barrels a day. What a shame!

* As a result of NICAN-USA investigations into major local oil production and exploitation, companies and the owners of oil wells have been asked to subject themselves for through scrutiny and investigation of their records by producing the following; Proof of remittance of royalty; proof of remittance on royalty in USD; proof of remittance on condensite sales in USD; concession rentals in USD; assignments of interest in USD; monthly crude oil production and drilling depth of crude oil; royalty charges paid on production of crude oil; clean certificate of inspection and documentation on transfer pricing and evidence of the past six years. Howbeit, most of the companies in the rich Niger-Delta have been served correspondences on this vexed issue of national corruption and fraudulent diversion of Nigeria’s commonwealth into the pockets of a few. They are required to produce their evidences with receipts and payment vouchers to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and DPR.

* CWAI has it on good authority that some defaulting petroleum companies ran to the President Muhammadu Buhari for cover and that the President blatantly told them to go back and pay what they owe the nation, as he will not condone such nefarious atrocities in his administration. Nevertheless, CWAI gives a pat on the shoulder to the consultant of NICAN-USA, whose principal consultant, Dr. Ikechukwu Ani should remain focused on the task ahead, and not be distracted by the antics of these collaborators and defaulters in the industry. In view of OPEC’s advice to Nigeria to cut down production and the need to finance the 2019 budget, DPR, NAPIMS and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are on close check and closely monitoring to checkmate all leakages.

* We pass a vote of confidence on the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for deeming it necessary to bring to book theses cabals in the hydro-carbon industry, who are hell-bent to destroy or defraud Nigeria’s resources. We also give a pat on the shoulder to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives on Investigation of Revenue Leakages, and the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property and NICAN-USA LTD for their patriotism and nationalistic disposition for going beyond the norm at the risk of their lives to fight for our common patrimony and natural resources.

We urge Nigerians to as a matter of urgency, be interested in the workings and happenings within the oil and gas industry as it is one industry that has be kept out of the view of the common man and that have been fleeced by individuals without an eye-brow raised.

CWAI states categorically that in our next publication, we would be unrestrained to publish all the names of individuals, companies and amounts computed as owed Nigeria. These perpetrators and fraudulent Nigerians must be made to face the wrath of the law.

Signed.

Com. Godwin Okafor Com. Chibuzor Onyia

Dir. Transparency & Good Dir. Media & Publicity

Governance practice

Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele

Executive Secretary, CWAI

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