House of Reps investigates illegal crude oil export

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

The Nigerian House of Representatives has reiterated its commitment to end cases of oil bunkering and illegal export of the country’s crude oil.

Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun gave the assurance while inaugurating the seventeen-man Adhoc Committee to investigate over $17bn allegedly stolen from illegal exports of crude oil and gas.

Mr. Lasun who expressed concern over the level of bunkering in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector said the revenue leakages if appropriately blocked, would assist in the government’s efforts to transform the country, through its change agenda.

“In all the oil producing countries of the world, Memorandum of Understanding has a limited timeline for execution. It is only in Nigeria that our oil wells are never returned to us. After 25 to 30 years, we are to retrieve them, but it doesn’t happen that way. The MoUs are implemented in the case of Nigeria until the wells are dry. There are about 5,000 oil vessels leaving Nigeria every year. No Nigerian has been involved in the shipment in the last 58 years. These are issues that we must seriously address as a country,” Lasun stressed.

The Chairman of the Committee, AbdulRazak Namdas told the gathering that twenty  oil companies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation would testify before the committee on their role in the alleged illegal export of over fifty-seven million barrels between 2011 and 2015.

Namdas said, “the estimated revenue loss by the government of Nigeria is around $12.7bn at an exchange rate of N196 to US$1.

This translates to N2tn. If all revenues from crude oil exports lost due to the activities of those engaged in illegal export/sale are recovered, it will go a long way to support the developmental goals of the government of Nigeria.”