18 October 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja — Lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr. Femi Falana, Thursday, disclosed that $12.7 billion worth of crude oil was stolen from Nigeria between January 2011 and December 2014.
Speaking at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of PENGASSAN in Abuja, Falana, stated that the crude oil theft data was released by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, while he promised to make the report available to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and other stakeholders.
According to him, the NIMASA study revealed that from January 2011 to December 2014, oil that left Nigeria totaled 60.2 million barrel, not recorded here, but was discharged in one port in Philadelphia in America.
He said, “The study revealed that the value of the money from oil stolen from Nigeria is $12.7 billion. The oil was discharged in one port. We have identified who the oil majors are and the shipping companies involved, but since 2014, we have been begging the Nigeria government to recover the money.”
He urged PENGASSAN, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to institute a probe, to track and investigate the volume of crude oil stolen from Nigeria and discharged at ports in the United States, India, China, France and Britain, noting that if the issue was taken seriously, Nigeria would see the return of over $100 billion.
He said, “This is the real money that should be recovered. That is why I am appealing to NUPENG, PENGASSAN and NLC to assist in going to the root of this criminality at the international level and recover the money and put in the federation coffers so that our people can enjoy the benefits of oil and gas industry.”
Falana also called for the immediate recovery from oil companies, royalties accruable to the Federation Account since 2014, stating that the Offshore And Inland Sharing Contract Act that provided that for 50 years no royalty would be collected from oil and gas mined from below 1,000 meters depth had expired in 2014.
Also speaking, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said PENGASSAN has played a vital role in the stabilization of the country.
He stated that the government recognized the potential of the sector to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of the nation, adding that it was his pleasure to support the association in championing the N1.5 billion appeal fund for a digital library
Speaking in the same vein, Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr. Maikanti Baru commended the association for the maturity it exhibited during industrial disputes resolutions.
He said, “”This is why I am enamoured of the theme of this event: “Dynamic Labour Leadership – Fueling the Economy”. Ours is a critical industry in respect of the economy of the state. Our action or inaction has a bearing on the Country’s social economic indices, performance and the well-being of the generality of Nigerians.”
He said that the leadership and the followership of PENGASSAN had aligned with Management and or Government to move the industry forward.