SERAP gets order to check subsidy payments
FROM the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has come a revelation that Nigeria loses $5 billion yearly to local oil thieves and their international collaborators.
The Managing Director of Shell Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, while speaking when he visited the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mrs. Zainab Ahmed in her office in Abuja yesterday, also declared that it is not correct to say Nigeria does not know how much crude oil it produces.
He submitted that there are measurement instruments that have been put in place to determine the figure to render adequate account of how much crude the country exports on a daily basis.
Sunmonu said instead of cacophony of voices trailing how much crude Nigeria produces, emphasis should be placed on stopping oil theft that dispossesses the country revenue yearly.
His words: “Many people are under the impression that the oil producing companies are playing games with the amount of crude that they produce and export. I want to state here categorically that the oil business is an international business. The practice in terms of how you account for what you produce, how you account for what you sell is universal. The companies in this business are very big companies. The code of conduct that governs their activity is so strict that they cannot afford to play games. And Nigeria as a country also has put its own regulatory framework around how you account for what you produce and how you account for what you load. At the port of loading, their security agents are positioned there, there are Customs people and apart from that there are meters which measure what goes from your tank to the tankers.”
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has granted Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) unrestricted access to information about oil subsidy.
According to a statement, the order granted by Justice Steven Adah, states, “an order of mandamus directing and or compelling the 1st Defendant/Respondent to provide the Plaintiffs/Applicants with up to date information on government/public spending relating to fuel ‘subsidy’ in 2011”.
This includes “The basis and expectations on which the issuance of the sum of N1.26 trillion on fuel ‘subsidy’ was made and detailed information and justifications for the issuance and release of money for fuel ‘subsidy’ which rose from N250 billion for 2011 to over N1.3 trillion by the end of October 2011, N1.5 trillion by December 2011 and subsequently N1.26 trillion without supplementary appropriation authorising the expenditure.”