Senate wades in, probes Nigeria’s ‘fraudulent oil production sharing contract scam’

Nigeria has within the last 26 years lost a whopping  N7trillion ($21billion) from non-implementation of Oil Production Sharing Contract ( PSC), it had with seven different oil firms.

This is as the Senate, Wednesday, ordered its standing committees on Petroleum ( Upstream), Finance, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to investigate the loss and ensure compliance to the sharing contract by all parties involved

The loss of the country in the sharing contract with front-line oil firms like Chevron , Exxon Mobil, Shell , South Atlantic Petroleum etc, came into fore during debate on a motion sponsored to that effect by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP Anambra South).

Senator Ubah in the motion co – sponsored by 27 other Senators , 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, were 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 also said 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 reviwed 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.

Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central) in his own contribution 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.

The matter, he added, must be referred to the Senate  Committees on Finance, Petroleum ( Upstream) and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal matters for thorough investigation, which the Senate concurred with, when put to voice vote by its President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan .

Lawan in his remarks, stressed that an amendment seeking bill on Oil Production Sharing Contract ( PSC) , will be expeditiously considered by the Senate in weeks to come .

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