Probe $15.9bn NLNG equity, NEITI tells Reps

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From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja

Executive Secretary of the  Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Waziri Adio, has called on the House of Representatives to investigate the loss of $15.9 billion dividend from Federal Government’s 49 per cent equity in the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).

Adio who appeared before the Abdulrazak Namdas-led House Adhoc  Committee investigating  $17 billion undeclared proceeds of crude oil and liquefied gas sale  between 2011 and 2014, alleged that the money was received by NLNG but cannot be found in the Federation Account.

He further advised that the committee has to spend more time in looking into the $15.8 billion lost to theft and vandalism as it could likely be part of the $17 billion lost to undeclared crude and gas sale being investigated.

He told the committee of another $21 billion confirmed crude oil sale that was not remitted to the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation  (NNPC) between 2011 and 2014.

The NEITI boss expressed regret that owing to the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the country is losing N600 million annually to leakages. He said the losses might have been incurred with active connivance of Nigerian officials at the lifting platforms.

The breakdown showed losses incurred from federation lifting alone showed a total of 385 million barrels was lost in 2011, 402 million  barrels in 2012, 363 million barrels in 2013 and 342 million barrels in 2014.

“Nigeria is losing revenue to oil theft on industrial scale and at a time it is easy to see physical stealing of oil from a low flying helicopter. There are several things that must be looked into with a view of taking necessary action. For instance, the NLNG got $15.9 billion as dividends as Nigeria’s returns for its 49 per cent equity in NLNG Ltd.

“Meanwhile, this dividend was collected by the NLNG but was not found in the Federation Account. We need to ask questions about what happened to the money. Also, the implication of non-passage of the PIB is that the country is losing about $600 million annually as a result of things that ought to be in place but not yet in place,” Adio stated.

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