The House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled plans to investigate the allegation bothering on the alleged loss of over $2.4 billion in revenue accruing from the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil export from 2014 till date.
The lawmakers also resolved to constitute an Ad-hoc committee that will investigate the whistleblower`s allegations of the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude in China in 2015 and the insurance status of the cargo.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Isiaka Ibrahim.
In his lead debate, Ibrahim who called for the House intervention stressed the need to recover the fund in line with extant laws.
“The house is aware of allegations by a whistleblower in July 2020 that he had in July 2015 and in response to the current administration`s whistleblower policy brought to the attention of a committee purportedly set up by the President for the recovery of missing crude oil exports, the existence of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s Bonny light crude oil in storage at several ports in China ostensibly under the authorization of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the intention of parties in China and the NNPC to sell this cargo.
“The house is also aware that the whistleblower claimed that the committee, which comprised very high-ranking officials of the administration and NNPC (some of whom he held meetings with) carried out an investigation and confirmed the existence of this cargo, but he discovered in October 2015 that the sale of this cargo had been initiated through unofficial channels and the eventual refusal of the committee to honour their agreement to pay 5% value of the cargo in line with the terms of the whistleblower policy.
“The house is worried by the allegations that the entire cargo of 48 million barrels of Bonny light crude was sold without the proceeds being remitted to the coffers of the country, which translated to a loss to the Nigerian state of over $2.4 billion considering the 2015 global average crude oil price of $52 per barrel.
“The house is concerned that more than two years after these allegations came to the fore and the uncertainty surrounding the required insurance of these crude exports, it becomes imperative that the House needs to ascertain the actual details of all previous crude exports from Nigeria from 2014 till date with regards to quantity, sale, insurance, revenue generated, payment into the federation account and how these proceeds were utilized,” he noted.
To this end, the house mandated the Ad-hoc committee to investigate all crude oil exports and sales by Nigeria from 2014 till date with regards to quantity, insurance, revenue generated, remittances into the federation accounts or other accounts as well as utilization of this revenue for the period under review.
The Ad-hoc committee is also expected to investigate all proceeds recovered through the whistleblower’s policy and the level of compliance with the policy.
While ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase who presided over the session mandated the Ad-hoc committee to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
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