SERAP sues NNPCL over failure to account for Nigeria’s daily oil production, revenues

THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) for its alleged failure to account for Nigeria’s daily oil production, exportation, and the total revenue generated from oil since the removal of petrol subsidy in May 2023.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1719/2023, filed on Friday, December 22, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the SERAP sought an order of mandamus to compel the NNPCL to disclose details of barrels of oil Nigeria produces and exports daily and the total revenues it generated since the removal of subsidy on petrol.

A statement by the organisation on Sunday, December 24, stated that it also requested “an order of mandamus to direct and compel the NNPCL to disclose details of payment of 11 trillion naira made as subsidy payments from 1999 to May 2023, including a detailed breakdown of the payments made.”


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This development followed a recent claim by the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

Sanusi had alleged on December 7 that the NNPCL failed to remit enough foreign exchange into the treasury despite removing fuel subsidy.

He also challenged the NNPCL to account for the dollar inflows from its operations amid the rising volatile exchange rate.

His allegations prompted SERAP to demand NNPCL to provide information on Nigeria’s daily production and exportation of oil via a Freedom of Information (FOI).

Additionally, it demanded the total revenue generated from oil since the removal of the petrol subsidy in May 2023.

Reacting via a statement on Sunday, SERAP argued that there was a legitimate public interest in disclosing the information sought, noting that the NNPCL had a legal responsibility to disclose the details of Nigeria’s daily oil production, exportation and the revenues generated and remitted.

SERAP also argued that “Nigerians have the right to know the amounts of barrels of oil the country produces and exports daily, the revenues generated and remitted to the public treasury. Compelling the NNPC to disclose these details would promote transparency and accountability in the oil sector.”

According to the organisation, the NNPCL’s failure to disclose the requested information violates the Nigerian Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.






     

     

    SERAP emphasised that transparency in revealing Nigeria’s oil revenues would prevent misuse, boost public trust, and benefit all Nigerians.

    “Nigeria’s daily oil production, exportation and the revenues generated have been mostly shrouded in secrecy.

    “Disclosing the amounts of barrels of oil the country produces and exports daily, the revenues generated and remitted to the public treasury would also ensure that the NNPC operates within the law,” the suit filed by SERAP read in part.

    It added that tackling oil sector corruption would reduce poverty, enhance access to public goods and services for Nigerians, and support the government to meet its human rights and anti-corruption commitments.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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