The federal house of representatives says it will begin an investigation of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for alleged sharp practices regarding crude oil swap contracts to ensure that the nation’s extractive industry is managed transparently and in accordance with global best practices. The senate had also summoned the NNPC management to explain the state of the refineries as well as all structures under its control.
The probe of the NNPC appears to be in line with the position of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of the corporation. In a motion by Michael Enyong, entitled ‘Urgent need for a forensic investigation of the contract known as refined product exchange agreement or swap contract’, the lawmaker noted that the revenue of the country had plummeted owing to leakages in the accounting system and mismanagement of the economy.
He explained that the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), in its 2011 and 2012 reports, ascertained that there was revenue loss to the tune of $8 billion owing to discrepancies between the value of the crude oil given out and the refined products delivered. Enyong observed that in 2011, there was a shortfall of 500, 075, 32 litres of refined product under the listed companies: Transfigura 173, 786, 600 litres; Vitol 654, 440 litres; Taleveras 152, 308, 878 litres; Aiteo Ltd 193, 045, 590 litres and Ontario Oil & Gas 180, 278, 732 litres. “There is the need to ensure transparency and accountability by the NNPC in the management of revenue accruing to the nation from crude oil, particularly in the prevailing circumstances where major buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil, the US has discovered alternative sources, “he said.
The lawmaker added that the concerns raised in the motion were in tandem with Buhari’s anti-corruption stance. According to him, the probe was important because due diligence in the management of the country’s revenue would rekindle hope in Nigeria’s creditors about its fiscal capacity to manage it’s debts and still have resources with which to address its macro-economic concerns. Speaker Yakubu Dogara put the motion to a voice vote to which the majority of lawmakers gave their approval.