THE House of Representatives yesterday inaugurated a committee to investigate the $17 billion allegedly stolen from undeclared crude oil and liquified natural gas exported to global destinations.
The development came on a day the Federal Government gave approval for appointment of the transaction parties for $1 billion euro bond issue.
The Ad-hoc committee, chaired by Abdulrazak Namdas, which was inaugurated by the deputy speaker, Yusuf Lasun, is expected to establish accurate figures of Nigeria crude oil stolen and sold to buyers globally.
In his address, Namdas, who is also Chairman of House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, stated that from preliminary reports, it was alleged that over 57 million barrels of Nigeria crude oil were illegally exported and sold in the United States of America.
He said: “Preliminary reports alleged that over 57 million barrels of Nigeria crude oil were illegally exported and sold in the USA between January 2011 and December 2014.
‘’The estimated revenue loss by the government of Nigeria is around $12,722,600,327 at an exchange rate of N196 to US$1. This translates to over N2 trillion.
‘’If all revenues from crude oil exports lost due to the activities of those engaged in illegal export and sale of Nigeria crude oil are recovered from identified buyers, it will go a long way to support developmental goals of the government of Nigeria.”
He said 20 multi-national companies have been invited to assist the committee in unravelling the problem of undeclared crude oil exports, including the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, She’ll Western Supply and Trading and Chevron Nigeria Limited.
Others are Total Exploration and Production Nigeria limited, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, CNOOC, Addax Petroleum Exploration Nigeria, Exxon Mobil Nigeria, Duke Oil Company limited among others.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday gave approval for the appointment of the transaction parties for the $1 billion euro bond issue.
The approval was effected at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa, Abuja.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, with Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed and that of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said the bond would serve as financial base for the implementation of 2016 budget.
According to her, the participating parties include Citi Group, Standard Chartered Bank, Standard IBTC holding plc, White and Case, Banwo & Ighodalo and Africa practice communications advisers.
She said: “My memo which is approved by council was for the appointment of the transaction parties for the $1 billion euro bond issue.
The bank transaction parties are Citi Group, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, White and Case, Banwo & Ighodalo and Africa Practice Communications advisers.”
“The one billion euro bond programme is part of the funding of the 2016 budget and we hope to be able to commence that process in January.