House Of Reps Investigates NNPC Over New Oil Scam

The House of Representatives on Tuesday mandated three of its committees to investigate the alleged connivance of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, with some Swiss oil dealers to “rob” Nigeria of billions of dollars.

The committees are Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Justice.

The resolution followed a motion moved by Abiodun Balogun (APC-Ogun), at plenary which was adopted without debate when put to vote by the deputy speaker, Emeka Ihedioha.

The motion was titled “Urgent need to investigate the alleged connivance of NNPC with Swiss oil dealers to rob Nigeria of billions of dollars”.

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Balogun noted that there had been a long standing allegation of secrecy surrounding the operations of the NNPC and the oil industry.

According to him, the National Assembly had carried out several previous investigations into the sector with far reaching recommendations which has saved Nigeria billions of Naira.

The legislator expressed concern that there are still allegations of corruption in the sector in spite of the actions of the National Assembly.

He further expressed concern over the new report by a Swiss non governmental advocacy organisation, the Berne Declaration, which detailed how NNPC connived with major Swiss oil trading companies.

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Balogun said the report showed how Swiss oil trading companies were draining Nigeria of billions of dollars in revenue through the sale of crude oil below the market value.

He said that the report entitled “Swiss Traders Opaque Deals in Nigeria’’, detailed the schemes employed by NNPC and foreign oil companies to dupe the country.

The lawmaker was worried that the Berne Declaration had described the Nigerian oil scam as the greatest fraud Africa had ever known.

According to Balogun, the Berne report specifically mentioned Vitol and Transfigura Commodity Trading Firms (NNPC partners) in the shady deals.

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He said the report also accused the NNPC and its subsidiaries of not publishing detailed reports since 2005.

Balogun urged the relevant committees to wade into the matter and find out the truth concerning the allegations.

“I am not passing judgment here, but our economy is at stake, I am only asking that an investigation be done to ascertain the truth” he said.

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