The Nigerian Extractive Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, has disclosed that Nigeria’s oil revenue experienced a steep decline between 2011 and 2015. Nigeria, he said, earned about $68.4billion from oil in 2011, and a paltry $24.7billion in 2015.
According to a report by Downstreamview, he said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was yet to remit into the Federation Account the $16, 898,725, 000 dividends which accrued to the government from its share in the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) between 2000 and 2015.
The NNPC, he said, claimed that it received instruction from former President Goodluck Jonathan to warehouse the fund and spend as directed.
NEITI has demanded for a copy of the directive from the ex-President. But Adio noted that the level of malfeasance in the oil and gas industry has reduced under President Muhammadu Buhari. he said, Nigeria was now experiencing more accountability and transparency in the sector than before.
According to The Nation Adio made these known at a session tagged “Anti-Corruption Situation Room in Abuja” during a training workshop organised by the Human Environmental Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre in conjunction with MacArthur Foundation.
His presentation focused on the highlights of the NEITI 2015 Oil and Gas Audit Report which covered 75 entities including 54 oil and gas companies; three refineries; 10 agencies; seven
generating companies (GENCOs), Nigerian Gas Company and NLNG.
Nigeria, he said, had been experiencing a “steady decline in oil revenue since 2011 but all the decline had been in single digit between 0 and 9.
“But it is only in 2015 that we had a major decline that not only went into double digit but more than 50 per cent. And this was as a result of a sharp drop in oil price but also the constraints in our oil production.
A breakdown of the revenue decline is as follows: 2011—$68.4b; 2012—$62.9b; 2013—$58.01b; 2014—$54.55b; and 2015—$24.7b. Adio said it was time the government, civil society groups and Nigerians asked questions on the whereabouts of the $16.8billion NLNG dividends.
Former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke on March 30, 2011, sent a memo to ex-President Jonathan that about $7.85billion be sourced from NLNG Dividend Account for the Brass LNG Project.
“Our detectives discovered that the Brass project was to be funded over a period of five years as follows: Year One($1.18b); Year Two($1.57b); Year Three($1.96b); Year Four($1.96b) and Year Five($1.18b). Total is $7.85billion.
“We want to probe the circumstances behind the withdrawal of $7.85billion at once in 2011. So far, about $1.15billion was said to have been spent by NNPC leaving a balance of $6.7billion to be accounted for.” Former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, said it was important to promote transparency in the oil sector.
The nation must stop “continuous stealing in the oil sector.” He said: “When you continue to do things in your own wish corner, you will never get it right. You can imagine how much we are wasting on subsidy. Today, you hear SWAP, Offshore Processing Agreement and others. They are continuously stealing. We need to comply with the law because the law says that others must know what is going on in the oil sector.”
He said: “NNPC confirmed receipt ($16.8b) but no evidence of remittance to Federation Account. NNPC said it received instruction from President to warehouse the fund and spend as directed. “NEITI requested NNPC to provide evidence of the presidential directive and the
statement of account on NLNG dividends.
“We own 49 per cent interest in NLG and the private investors about 51 per cent. Between 2000 and 2016, the total money paid by NLNG as dividends to NNPC which is holding the 49% interest on account of the the Federation came to $16.8b in 16 years.