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Friday, 23 March 2018

Falana: In three years, Nigeria lost $200bn from shady oil deals

Falana: In three years, Nigeria lost $200bn from shady oil deals

Femi Falana, lawyer and human rights activist, says within a three year period, Nigeria lost an estimated $200 billion from “shady deals” in the oil and gas sector.

Falana made the disclosure on Thursday in Abuja, while speaking at a training on anti-corruption monitoring and reporting, organised by the Anti-corruption Situation Room of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) resource center.

According to Falana, investigations revealed that Nigeria’s stolen crude oil was diverted to a seaport in Philadelphia in the US- just one of many others.

He said some 60.2 million barrels of oil valued at $12.7 billion was discharged in the US without the knowledge of the federal government.

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”I belong to a team of lawyers that has done some work on the stealing in this sector and we discovered that between January 2011 and December 2014, we got the information from the loading point and countries of the charge,” he said.

“In a Philadelphia port in US we discovered that in three years, 60.2 million barrels of oil were not recorded here but recorded there in US for the purpose of taxation and valued at 12.7 billion dollars. That’s just one port in US.

”If you take all the ports in US where our oil was discharged at that period, I’m sure Nigeria will make about 200 billion dollars.

“We have not gone to China yet, India, Britain, France and all the countries that our oil was taken to during that period when there was total collapse of values and integrity of our country.

“That was the period everyone was stealing our oil. Because we couldn’t convince the government, they ignored our finding.”

The lawyer also said efforts to demand accountability from the oil and shipping companies involved have proved abortive.

“We did a petition to the EFCC and wrote a letter to the Minister of Finance. Apart from reply that our letter is receiving attention, we haven’t heard anything,” he said.

“EFCC has been told to not touch oil companies unless there’s presidential fiat. We have gone to court, interestingly, the shipping and oil companies really have no explanation.”

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