30 January 2019, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Federal Government, Tuesday, said it has commenced the tracking of Nigeria’s crude oil output and lifting.
Speaking at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, NIPS, in Abuja, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, also stated that the government was currently working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to track vessels lifting crude oil from the country.
Kachikwu disclosed that the Federal Government had acquired the capacity to monitor vessels operating in Nigeria and through its monitoring of these vessels, it had observed irregularities in the movement of some of the vessels mandated to lift crude oil from Nigeria.
He said, “For the first time, we know what we are producing in this country. As to when it is being produced, barrel to barrel, we can tell. We can see every vessel that is coming into Nigeria and their activities.
“What we trying to do with the EFCC is to gather data and track these vessels, to determine the owners, why did they leave this point, what happened along the way, what is deadweight of the vessel at the time they were leaving Nigeria and many more.”
Kachikwu added that the data observed from the activities from the movement of vessels would help determine the various loading points of the vessels, the dead weight of the vessels and the volume of crude oil lifted from the vessels.
He noted that tracking programme would be extended to the downstream sector, to determine the volume of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol imported into the country; the quantity of the products brought in by each vessel, the depots the commodity are stored up to the points of retail to motorists.
On the moves by the House of Representatives to investigate the minister over the early renewal of oil leases, Kachikwu said, “I see the House challenging me and they say they are going to investigate me and I am looking forward to that investigation for it is part of their duty. But if you have nothing to hide you should actually see it as a platform to tell your story.
“The reality is that we started early renewals in this country to generate money. At the time we came in 2015 there was insufficient money even to meet salary payments and we created an ingenious way of trying to generate money. So we said rather than wait for leases that are going to be renewed in 2021 to start, let’s give them incentives to start on an early renewal basis.
“I can you tell that as we speak today, the funds that have been generated out of early renewal is between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion and still counting. And the process is very straightforward.”