…Urges creation of Command Centre for oil and gas industry
06 February 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio has lamented that the inability of the country’s oil and gas operators to create an effective command center to monitor and analyse its oil production was behind the loss of over $4.7 billion in 2013 alone, as disclosed by the NEITI’s Audit report.
Adio, who expressed his dismay on Twitter about the country’s inability to monitor and accurately account for its oil production, despite over 60 years of oil and gas exploration, said it was a shame.
According to him, “It is a coughing shame that after 61 years of oil discovery, we can’t account for how much we produce.
“Yes, in one year, we lost $4,700,000,000 to oil theft and vandalism.”
Commenting on the need for a high-tech Energy Command Centre, Adio noted that, “Yes, it will cost a lot, but look at this: Nigeria lost $4.7bn to oil theft/vandalism in 2013.”
He added, “Am convinced that there are vested interests that benefit from and perpetuate our dysfunctional system.”
Adio’s tweets on Saturday also targeted the account of Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, as well as that of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), both of which were yet to respond as at publication.
The NEITI Executive Secretary had disclosed last year that the country does not know the quantity of crude oil it produces at the moment, Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has said.
Adio, who disclosed this when he appeared before the Senate in plenary to brief it on the 2013 NEITI audit report, said the country was yet to know its oil and gas production capacity.
The Senate, subsequently, set up a nine-member ad-hoc committee to probe the 2013 audit report of the federal government agency.
The Senate decision to investigate the report came after Adio took over two hours to explain what he knew about it. Speaking, Adio, while regretting the level of mismanagement of resources in the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy over the years, insisted that the country has no specific record of its quantity of oil produced over the years.
He said the NEITI 2014 Industry audit reports showed that revenue in the oil and gas industry were not fully remitted to the Federation Account, adding that the danger posed to the economy due to the misappropriation of these funds were much.
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who presided over the session, said the issues raised by the NEITI boss was grave and must be looked into. Following this, he set up the committee, cutting across nine different standing committees, as he remarked that in view of the enormity of the money involved, the general opinion was that an ad hoc committee should be set up to probe the report.
He said the terms of reference of the committee, led by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) Senator Jibrin Barau, would be to re-examine the financial processes and the fiscal audit report of NEITI.
The Senate President also said the committee would look into the financial loss and leakages to the government in all its ramifications, the remedial measures and come up with sanctions where necessary.
He noted that the committee would determine any relevant legislative action that would be required to block all forms of leakages. The nine-member ad-hoc committee has as chairman, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, who is the chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources ( Upstream).
Others are Senators Bassey Akpan, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Andy Uba, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, and Senator John Enoh, Chairman, Committee on Finance.
The rest are Senators Chukwuka Utazi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, Kabir Marafa, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Population and National Identity, Solomon Adeola and Bukar Mustapha Adio had alleged that some huge amount of monies, which were in three tranches, were either withheld, lost or underpaid for different reasons.
He said: “The first is in the category of the unremitted funds, which amounted to $3.8 bn and N358m; the second category is the category of losses due to inefficient practices and theft totalling $5.9bn and N20bn,” he said.