01 February 2015, Abuja – To many calculating the figure-bearing headlines emanating from the ongoing probe by the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Crude Oil Swap and Oil Processing Agreement (OPA), so much economic attacks and sabotage appear to have been spearheaded by the same agencies and officials of government who were being paid with the nation’s tax payers’ money to manage and administer the resources.
However, to those who have closely followed the unfolding, events with patience for details, the much publicised “Dasuki-gate” or “Arms-gate” as the case may be, is just a tip of the iceberg given the level of alleged rot and profligacy perpetrated by both local and foreign oil marketing firms under the supervision of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum Product Marketing Company (PPMC) while the Presidency folded its arms.
The case with Nigerian crude oil theft narrative has been that of an owner stealing what belongs to him and at the same time raising the alarm over the theft. That explains the attitude of the Jonathan-led Federal Government and the management of the NNPC and PPMC aiding and abetting crude oil theft whilst shouting to high heavens that the nation was being robbed of her oil resources by thieves.
It is no longer news that crude oil worth over $24billion was allegedly taken from the wells and shores of Nigeria by a company established as a subsidiary of the NNPC for the supposed advancement of Nigeria’s economic interest with regards to crude export, marketing and importation of refined products just like every other company involved in the swap arrangement.
During one of the hearings, last Wednesday, the Managing Director of the PPMC, Mrs Esther N. Ogbue, alluded to the fact that there was no record to show an agreement of crude oil lifting under the swap arrangement between the NNPC and the subsidiary company.