Nigeria, others lost $4bn to shady oil deals – GLOBAL WITNESS

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International transparency group, Global Witness, yester-day, stated that Nigeria, Angola, Republic of Congo and the Democra-tic Republic of Congo lost about $4 billion (N800 billion) in shady oil and mining deals.

Global Witness, in a recently released report, disclosed that anonymous companies facilitated the loss of national wealth on an epic scale, while it questioned the role of international oil companies that facilitate such deals.

The report revealed how oil and mining assets worth $4 billion have been allocated to companies whose ownership is obscure.

According to the report, in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, lucrative oil and mining licences were awarded to companies with hidden owners, diverting vast resource revenues to unknown private pockets.

It added that in the Republic of Congo, a company whose beneficiaries remain uncertain – and which has historical connections to high ranking public officials — has recently received lucrative stakes in several oil fields.

Specifically, Global Witness put Nigeria’s loss at $1.1 billion, which, according to the report, was the price agreed with an anonymous company for the OPL 245 oil block, of which Italian prosecutors claim $533 million was fingered to pay bribes.

The report put the loss to Democratic Republic of Congo at $1.36 billion, which was the value lost from just five mining deals and which was almost twice the DRC’s annual spending on health and education combined.

Angola lost $1.3 billion which was the value of part of an oil field interest sold back to the state by a company secretly owned by top officials, while the Republic of Congo lost $20 million, being the estimated value of an oil field interest won by a company previously exposed for payments to offshore companies owned on trust for the ruling elite.

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