President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has raised the alarm of missing crude oil running into billions of dollars.
Wabba said the monumental infraction occurred at a period the Federal Government claimed to have recorded the highest level of pipeline vandalism which it said was reason for zero sales of the country’s crude oil.
Speaking at the opening of the 44th Session of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) in Abuja, yesterday, Wabba said it is difficult to conceal the fraud overseas because of the high level of transparency.
“Recently, a member of the National Assembly shared with me very disturbing information. While in our books, it was recorded zero sale of crude oil, but, when you go out there, because their records are straight forward, you can’t change figures, monumental amount of crude oil has been sold. A Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report has captured that aptly. If we are able to recover these losses, we don’t have any reason to say this country is in recession.
“The NEITI report said several billions of dollar in crude oil resource are missing. But, that was the time we were saying there was pipeline vandalism and, therefore, crude oil was not sold or any other excuse was given.
“But, out there, because you cannot take it out without recording it, you have the records out there; that actual amount which accrued to the Nigerian government and the banks where the money was deposited.
“These people are feasting on the wealth of all of us. That is why the issue of inequality will continue to be with us and the issue of poverty will continue to be there; if we don’t address this social imbalance where the rich will, continue to be rich.
In this country, it is only the poor that respect the rule of law. These are the issues and so, when we say ‘solidarity forever,’ we must be ready to follow up the issues and challenge them,” Wabba stated.
This is not the first time Nigeria would be recording crude theft.
NEITI auditors had, at a two-day workshop on the Role of the New Media in Reporting the Extractive Industry, in Abuja, said various infractions were identified in the 2013 audit report released by the agency.
They mentioned undervaluation, cash call payments refunded or not refunded as well as validation and reconciliation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) liftings as some of the areas with gaps.
However, NEITI Executive Secretary, Mr. Waziri Adio, indicated that the body will work closely with the Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to prosecute any infractions in the country’s extractive sector.