Crude Oil ProductionThe Senate yesterday said over $850 billion supposedly earned between 1996 and 2014 from crude oil export was yet to be repatriated to the country by the Joint Venture Oil Companies.
The development, it noted, was in total contravention of Nigeria’s Pre-shipment Inspection of Export Act and Article 26 of Export Policy Guidelines and procedures for crude oil, gas and non-oil goods.
Also, the upper legislative chamber confirmed that Nigeria has been exporting oil and non-oil products without documentation since June 2015. As a result, the country has lost over N23.6 billion being expected proceeds of the export within the period.
These revelations were made during an investigative public hearing organized by the Senate Joint Committees on Finance, Trade and Investment; Gas, Petroleum Upstream; Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, as well as Customs, Excise and Tariff, on the “Need to Investigate Pre-Shipment Inspection of Export Activities in Nigeria.”
The public hearing was held through a motion by Senator Abubakar Yusuf (APC, Taraba Central), in July 2016, where he alleged that there has been gross violation of the pre-shipment inspection of export act by some institutions of government.
A deputy director in the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Usman Ndanusa, who represented the ministry, disclosed that the country had been exporting its oil and non-oil products without measurement and documentation since June 2015.
He said the development followed the disengagement of pre-shipment inspection agents at the various export terminals and their subsequent replacement with agents who were asked to carry out the pre-shipment work at the terminals by the federal government without legal and constitutional backing.
He insisted that since their engagement was backed by law, coupled with the fact that the monitoring and evaluation agents were not working due to nonpayment of their entitlements, there was no one to undertake supervision of the agents.
The development, he noted, left the country at the mercy of the agents to the extent that the country had no control of measurement of its oil and non oil export commodities. That is besides lack of comprehensive metering systems by most of the terminals across the country.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had while declaring the public hearing open, expressed his dissatisfaction over the refusal of the JVCs to repatriate crude oil export proceeds of over $850 billion between 1996 and 2014 and warned the companies against flouting the laws of the country in which they were doing business. He said those found wanting in the development would be made to face the wrath of the country’s law.