29 December 2014, Benin — Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, has said that the failure of the Federal Government to share the excess crude account in the last 18 months was responsible for the distortion in the developmental plans of the state governments.
Speaking during a visit of the Association of Enigies from Edo South to him yesterday, Oshiomhole, said: “In the past 18 months, we have not shared the excess crude account and yet, the account is empty. Sometimes we were told they have taken money from it to fund subsidies, including subsidy on kerosene but your royal highnesses, there is nowhere in your various domains where kerosene is sold for N50. So, in the name of subsidy, large sums of money are being stolen.
“Things are tough now around the country because the Federal Government mismanaged our national resources and what is being stolen, nobody agrees it is being stolen. What is arguable is who is responsible for this stealing. When the Federal Government and the President talk about oil theft and the amount that is allegedly stolen is huge such that whereas we have the capacity to produce about 2.4 million barrels a day, what accrues to the Federal Government account is less than 1.8 million barrel a day.
“From the last time we had a meeting, the handouts they distributed shows that sometimes for a period of two weeks, we were losing as much as 700,000 barrels a day and that has been on in the past 12 years. I am not able to understand why. Suddenly, Nigeria cannot protect its territorial waters because the boundaries have not changed and the people are still the same and at the peak of the so-called militancy, we were still exporting about two million barrels a day.
“Then how can we explain that after we have resolved the issue of militancy in the Niger Delta, we have rehabilitated the ex-militants and even awarded contracts to them, that we are still losing as much crude oil as that to oil thieves and to the best of my knowledge, there is no major known person who has been prosecuted and convicted for oil theft in a way that reflects the magnitude of what is allegedly stolen.”