House of Reps summons NNPC, oil companies over crude oil theft

The House of Representatives has summoned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and 19 other oil and gas companies over crude oil worth $17bn which was allegedly stolen through exports between 2011 and 2014.

Among the firms the committee summoned along with the NNPC were Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited; Shell Western Supply and Trading; Televeras Petroleum Trading; Chevron Nigeria Limited; Shell US Trading Company; ExxonMobil Nigeria; Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited; Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited; and Duke Oil Company Limited.

The lower chamber on Wednesday inaugurated an ad hoc committee led by AbdulRazak Namdas to investigate the theft.

The committee said “over 57million barrels of Nigeria’s crude were illegally exported and sold in the USA” alone within the period under review.

Namdas said, “The estimated revenue loss by the government of Nigeria is around $12.7bn at an exchange rate of N196 to US$1.

“This translates to N2tn…If all revenues from crude oil exports lost due to the activities of those engaged in illegal export/sale are recovered, it will go a long way to support the developmental goals of the government of Nigeria.”

Deputy Speaker, Yusuff Lasun who represented Speaker Dogara said the chamber had earlier tried to investigate the theft but was frustrated.

Lasun added, “In the last 58 years, nothing has changed in favour of the country.

“In all the oil producing countries of the world, Memorandum of Understanding have limited timeline for execution.

“It is only in Nigeria that our oil wells are never returned to us. After 25 to 30 years, we are to retrieve them, but it doesn’t happen that way.

“The MoUs are implemented in the case of Nigeria until the wells are dry.

“There are about 5,000 oil vessels leaving Nigeria every year. No Nigerian is involved in the shipment in the last 58 years.

“These are issues that we must seriously address as a country.”

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