22 July 2014, Lagos – At a time when earnings from Nigeria’s crude oil sales have remained a closely guarded secret, the outcome of a new research published on Monday has shown that national oil companies in Africa have grossly under reported oil sales over the years.
The report noted that Swiss commodity traders like Arcadia, Glencore, Gunvor, Mercuria, Socar Trading, Trafigura, and Vitol purchased about $55 billion worth of oil from state-owned oil companies in Africa.
The purchases were from Nigeria, and the continent’s other top-10 oil producing countries like Angola, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Ghana, between 2011 and 2013.
A breakdown of the figure, outcome of a new research from the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), the Berne Declaration and SWISSAID, showed that in Nigeria, the Swiss firms bought oil worth $37 billion between 2011 and 2013, representing 67 per cent of the figure for Africa.
The amount was, however, equal to more than 18 per cent of the Federal Government’s revenues over the period.
In the period of study also, for example, Glencore bought 100 per cent of the oil sold by Chad’s government, and in 2013 made payments equivalent to an estimated 16 per cent of total government revenue.
In Equatorial Guinea, Swiss traders – Arcadia, Glencore, Trafigura and Vitol – bought oil worth $2.2 billion from the government in 2012 (payments equalling 36 per cent of state revenue). The figures from analyses of sales made by the national oil companies showed that the Switzerland-based commodity trading firms are behind a much larger proportion of African governments’ oil sales than previously thought.
This amounts, according to a statement by Lee Bailey, Director of Communications, at Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), is equal to more than 10 per cent of the countries’ combined government revenues, and is double what they received in foreign aid.
This is just as government health expenditures across the 10 countries were less than half the amount collected from Swiss traders, the researchers found.
– Daily Independent