The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said that Nigeria lost over ₦16.25 trillion due to oil theft in the country.
This was revealed in a report of NEITI presented to the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Bamidele Salam during an interactive session in Abuja by the Executive Secretary/CEO, Ogbonnaya Orji.
Orji during the presentation claimed that $74.386 billion has been spent on fuel subsidies by successive administrations since 2011.
He said that NEITI has compiled the actual amount paid as a subsidy yearly, based on data collated and signed off by operators in the industry and other stakeholders.
Executive Secretary said, “NEITI uncovered over $8.3 billion in unremitted revenue by some privately owned oil firms and federal government-owned agencies that were not paid into the Federation Account.”
Orji noted that the agency is working with various enforcement institutions, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practises and Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), in a bid to recover the funds in the government’s coffers.
“I have here, for instance, revenues we have earned from oil and gas since 1999. We also have here all the subsidy payments made. Since 2005 when it became a scandal, we began to collect the data. We began to ask question on subsidy and as at 2021, the country had paid, $74.386 billion on subsidy,” Orji said.
“We have breakdown of what was paid each year. We have also got a conversion of what that can possibly translate to.”
Orji also informed the gathering that $16.25 billion was lost to oil theft in Nigeria, stating that the data was obtained from data collected from various sign-offs by operators and government agencies.
“In the course of this job, we have incentivized a lot of recoveries for the government because between what is paid and what was recovered, a lot of money in foreign exchange developed wings. Company A will say we paid $1 million and you go to the account of the receiving agency and you find out that either half of that money was not received or more is received more than what was paid because of poor record keeping and carelessness.” Orji stated this during the interactive session.
Orji however announced that the agency will release the report on the fiscal allocation and statutory disbursement on Thursday, November 9, and the beneficiaries from the fund.