It was gathered that the House of Representatives has resolved to investigate alleged fraud of over $17 billion arising from undeclared crude oil and liquefied natural gas export to global destinations.
The resolution followed a motion under matters of urgent national importance by Hon. Johnson Agbonayinma (PDP, Edo) seeking the probe of a report of an investigation commissioned by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013.
Leading debate on the motion, Agbonayinma said that the past administration, in 2013, held a meeting with all the major oil companies to proffer solution to the embarrassing challenge of crude oil theft, adding that the former president, his vice, governors of Akwa Ibom, Delta, Bayelsa, ministers and Service Chiefs were all in attendance.
“Following the resolve of the meeting at the behest of the president, Molecular Power System Limited was engaged to provide technical data (records of crude oil and liquefied natural gas lifting in Nigeria as obtained from NNPC and landing certificates at global destinations) to verify possibilities of nondeclaration to the Federal Government by multinational companies.
“The data gathering of shipment to the United States for the period of 2011 to December 2014 through critical NNPC data and the Central Bank’s preshipment inspection report shows an undeclared crude oil shortfall of 57,830,000 metric tonnes on Nigerian crude oil, translating to well over $12 billion export to the US, also over $3 billion to China and $839,522,600 to Norway.
“These were conclusively ascertained by buyers, bill of laden, arrival dates, destination ports, quantity of crude oil and other documented information. This job has been done in 51 countries where Nigerian crude oil has been exported to with the report of the United States being the largest receiver of crude oil and that of other countries made available to the former president, the office of the Attorney General and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).”
He noted that “as at today, the country has to its credit over $17 billion of recoverable shortfalls from undeclared crude oil exports to global destinations.”
The lawmaker stressed that the money that belongs to Nigeria is in the hands of a few individuals.
Agbonayinma further disclosed that the Federal Government had initiated a policy of loading crude oil from Nigeria under the joint supervision of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Navy, the Customs, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), expressing dismay how and why the policy was crippled over the years till date.
He also revealed that the agencies have also lost the capacity to go to offshore locations to witness loading as the machines that monitor loading into vessels were bought, owned, calibrated and operated by the international oil companies without monitoring.
Information, according to the lawmaker, revealed that a total of 727,460 metric tons of liquefied natural gas, estimated at about $461.44 million, was firmly established as a shortfall from shipment to seven countries, adding that this revenue loss was traced to cargoes at each destination’s port of entry and have been established as undeclared cargoes.
Collaborating the motion, Speaker Yakubu Dogara said: “I remember the crux of your motion when you discussed it with me and you said that the past government hired a consultant and paid $5 million. It has since turned in its report and it’s a basic idea of spending $5 million to investigate a crime with a report that has indicted many people and organisations and up till now, no recovery has been made.”
The motion was unanimously approved via a voice vote after it was put to question by the Speaker.