Lagos lawyer and human rights advocate, Mr. Femi Falana has alleged that Nigeria lost $12.7bn to crude oil thieves between 2011 and 2014.
Falana who disclosed this at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) held in Abuja on Thursday said the crude oil theft data was released by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
“The study revealed that the value of the money from oil stolen from Nigeria is $12.7bn. The oil was discharged in one port. We have identified who the oil majors are and the shipping companies involved; but since 2014, we have been begging the Nigerian government to recover the money,” he said.
Falana promised to make the report available to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders.
He therefore called for the immediate recovery from oil companies, royalties that ought to have accrued to the Federation Account since 2014.
Besides, he called on PENGASSAN to prevail on the anti-corruption agencies to probe and trace the funds, as well as determine the culprits.
He urged the association, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to institute a probe, track and investigate the volume of crude oil stolen from the country and discharged at ports in the United States, India, China, France and Britain.
He said if the issue was taken seriously, Nigeria would see the return of over $100 billion.
“This is the real money that should be recovered. That is why I am appealing to NUPENG, PENGASSAN and the NLC to assist in going to the root of this criminality at the international level and recover the money and put it in the federation’s coffers so that our people can enjoy the benefits of the oil and gas industry,” he said.
Falana also challenged the labour centres to look into the Halliburton case to ensure that justice prevailed and see to it that recovered funds were used for the benefit of the country.
For his part, the group managing director of NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, appreciated PENGASSAN’s immense contribution to the oil and gas industry.
“The NNPC appreciates your consistent involvement in the industry’s policy formulation, the most recent being the Petroleum Industry Bill; the corporation also appreciate your advocacy for robust local content development as well as your complementary role to grow a virile and productive economy for the country.
“These have gone a long way to demonstrate the high stake you have exhibited in the service of the industry and the nation. I can only add that you keep up your good work,” he said.