Senate probes N7trn oil production sharing scam

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By: Joy Odor/Abuja

The Senate has resolved to carry out thorough investigation into the whopping $21billion (about N7trillion), which Nigeria has lost in the last 26 years from non implementation of Oil Production Sharing Contract, PSC.

This followed a motion to that effect by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, YPP Anambra South, and co-sponsored by 27 other lawmakers.

Senator Ubah, while leading debate on the motion, informed the Senate that salient provisions of the contractual agreements between Nigeria and the affected oil firms, have not been adhered to, by parties concerned which according to him, has bled the nation’s economy to the tune of $21billion, equivalent of N7trillion.

The N7trillion loss, according to him, was revenues that supposed to have accrued into the federation account from shares Nigeria supposed to have gotten from the oil firms anytime oil price rises above $20 per barrel as provided for in the contractual agreement.

He added that the required periodic reviews that are supposed to be done on the Act in 2008, 2013 and 2018 as provided for in the Act, were not carried out with attendant further loses on the part of Nigerian government.

In his contribution, Senator George Sekibo, PDP Rivers East, lamented the attitude of the operators of the law.

“It was agreed that the sharing formulae be reviewed when the price of crude oil moved to $20 . When the price goes beyond $20, the price of crude has since 1999 been on the rice, it was supposed to be revised after 15 years since the law was formulated. The country can make more money from PSC, but it hasn’t. Why have we failed?

“I understand that there is cartel frustrating it because they make money at the expense of Nigeria. The President must personally take this upon himself and recover all the outstanding arrears”, he said.

Also, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC Ekiti Central, said: “those who enacted the PSC Act in 1993 were very conscious of the fact that it must be dynamic, but no review has been done after 15 years as stipulated.

“It even said subject to crude oil price. But we have refused to review it for whatever reason and everybody watches Nigeria bleed. We must do something to save this country.

“There must be cost recovery ceiling is at 50% in Angola and you can’t go beyond it. We must stop Nigeria from bleeding. Whatever needed to be done”.

Blaming the loss on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Senator Stella Oduah, PDP Anambra North, in her contribution said: “The price of crude oil has been on the increase ever since this contractual agreement was signed by the affected oil firms.

“What is expected from them anytime the price of oil is above $20, is to bring the balance to the table to share.

“They haven’t been doing that I see it as NNPC negligence and recklessness. I do solely support that we call NNPC to order and ensure that this contract is implemented to the letter”

Also irked by the ugly trend , the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, APC Kebbi North, said the Senate must rise up to the occasion and block the leakages.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, stressed that an amendment seeking bill on Oil Production Sharing Contract, PSC will be expeditiously considered by the upper legislative chamber in weeks to come.

The country lost the huge amount in the sharing contract with frontline oil firms like Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell and South Atlantic Petroleum, among others.

Disturbed by the development, the Senate mandated its Committees on Petroleum (Upstream); Finance; and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to investigate the loss and ensure compliance to the sharing contract by all parties involved.

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