Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, yesterday said it was shameful that there was no accurate record of the volume of crude oil being produced in Nigeria daily. Falana spoke at an interactive Media Roundtable on ‘Impact of nonpayment of Capital Gain Tax (CGT) and Other Levies in the oil and gas sector on the socio-economic development of the country, in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the roundtable was organised by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). He said the recent report by the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) showed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and oil majors had yet to remit $22 billion and N481 billion to the Federation Account.
“Nigeria is the only oil producing country that does not know how much crude oil is produced and the government has refused to obtain the meter that would provide an accurate record.
“A study was done between 2011 and 2014 by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on how much unrecorded oil was taken out of Nigeria. “In one port alone at Philadelphia, United States, the difference between the oil recorded that was taken out from our port and the oil that arrived there was about 60 million barrels valued at $12.7 billion,’’ Falana said.
He said the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had been recovering stolen funds, but they needed to do more to ensure that the humongous amount of money stolen from the oil sector was recovered.
According to him, these funds can be deployed for education, health and infrastructural development in the country, especially as over 13 million children were currently out of school. He urged SERAP to challenge the non-implementation of the Deep Offshore and Inland Production Act, which ought to have been enforced since 1993, but had been jettisoned by subsequent administrations.
“We must go to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure that we get the appropriate information as enshrined in the Freedom of Information Act (FOI),” he said. NAN reports that the roundtable also witnessed the unveiling of an 18-page report entitled; “The Impact of Laws and Practice on the Taxation of Capital Gains (Oil and Gas Asset Sales in Nigeria 2005-2015).’’ The report was authored by two taxation consultants, Mrs. Bimpe Balogun and Mr. Azeez Olatoye.