05 March 2014, Abuja – The African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to produce certified true copies of the bid tenders, awards and other documents of the controversial multi-billion dollar oil deals with two Swiss firms.
A Swiss-based non-governmental advocacy group, Berne Declaration, in a report entitled, “Swiss traders’ opaque deals in Nigeria”, accused the NNPC of conniving with two Swiss oil trading firms, Vitol and Trafigura, to defraud Nigeria of several billions of dollars in oil deals.
The report had indicted the two major oil traders in Switzerland, and seven Nigerian oil importers of creating offshore subsidiaries referred to as ‘letterbox companies’ to swindle the country of over $6.8 billion in subsidy claims from the Federal Government between 2009 and 2011.
Consequently, ANEEJ, a civil society group working on revenue transparency in the extractive industry in the country, said in a Freedom of Information, FOI request to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, that it required the information urgently for an ongoing project.
In the FOI request to the NNPC by its legal counsel, Festus Keyamo, copy of which was obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, ANEEJ said it needed details of those deals to confirm certain information in NNPC’s possession in respect of the offshore processing, crude swap and crude lifting contracts executed since January 2010.
Giving NNPC seven days ultimatum to respond, pursuant to the provisions of Section 1(1) and 2 and section 4(a) of the FOI Act, ANEEJ warned that failure to comply would result in the initiation of court proceedings for an order of mandamus to compel compliance in accordance with Section 1(3) of the Act.
A ten-point demand accompanying the request asked the NNPC to produce the approval by the Board of the NNPC and the pricing template for all the contracts.
ANEEJ also demanded records of the advertisements by the NNPC soliciting tenders for crude oil sales as published in at least two national newspapers and the website of the organization in 2011, in addition to all tenders by firms involved in the sale of NNPC owned crude, the result of those tenders and the criteria on which the tenders were awarded.
– Premium Times