Nigeria is Unaware of Quantity of Oil Produced and Sold

Publié le par hort

We are now in the 21st century yet Nigeria still has has no idea how much oil it produces or sells to other countries. That is outrageous and that is what must  change in Africa for our people to truly benefit from their ressources. Hort

 Nigeria: Country Unaware of Quantity of Oil Produced, Sold - Representatives

Sunny Igboanugo

1 September 2009


"We don't know how much crude we drill, we don't know how much comes out. The quantity we don't know, because we don't have equipment at the well head to measure. Even at the loading bay, we don't know what is being exported daily."


That was the lamentation of federal lawmakers at the weekend, in reaction to the startling realities of the badly run oil industry under the Joint Venture Contract (JVC) between the government and foreign firms. House of Representatives members expressed their exasperation when they visited the corporate headquarters of Independent Newspapers Limited (INL) in Ogba, Lagos.


The lawmakers comprised Standing Committee Chairmen, led by Media Committee Chairman, Eseme Eyiboh. They said the country has been fleeced massively in the joint venture business, which has run for several years, because of its one-sided nature. They also acknowledged public opinion on the performance of democracy in Nigeria, but said they should not be blamed because they have done much to redeem the situation. But they agreed that the situation is bad, and the amount of work to be done great, especially on corruption and mending the crooked ways of running government, the reason for the plethora of probes in the House.


Gas Committee Chairman, Igo Aguma, returned to the subject of oil, and wondered "how the managers of the economy can come out with their figures that we now produce, say, 1.2 million barrels today. There are no figures. The vessels that come to load, the calibration is physical. "That is what is still being done in Nigeria. So, we don't even know the real calibration of those vessels. All we know is that we have approved for a vessel to load 30,000 metric tonnes of crude. But we don't know if actually the capacity of the vessel is 50,000 metric tonnes."


Aguma said these are issues legislators have unravelled, and have also discovered that oil marketers are not taxed. "Apart from Sahara Energy and Oando, all of them are registered outside Nigeria. When we ask for basic certificates to show that they have the capacity to do the job, they will tell you that where they are registered they are not compelled to produce such documents. "And you now start wondering if you have set your due process for people to do business with you. How come, if you have not compromised yourself, somebody comes to tell you I cannot give you this document and you still go ahead to do business with that person."


Aguma recalled that the House has also discovered that the dream of getting the four refineries to work, is a forlorn one. "Our refineries are mere producers of fuel oil and those fuel oils are being given out at the discretion of the authorities. There are no clear guidelines or due process to follow to get allocations of oil. "If you know anybody high up, you have access. There is no registration for it, there are no parameters for it." However, he stressed that all these anomalies are being corrected. "Looking at the documents they submitted, we asked them how long it would take a vessel to travel from the nearest foreign refinery to Nigeria and they said three and a half days, maximum four days. "We now started pointing out where they had date of arrival and bill of laden the same date. So, that is a clear case of round-tripping. And this same people claim from the Petroleum Support Fund. "Then when they talked about Petroleum Equalising Fund, we said, what are you equalising? You don't expect somebody who lives in Kaduna, where there is a refinery, if the refinery is producing, to pay the same amount for fuel as somebody who lives in Kano. "If you are equalising in the hinterland, what about equalising towards the creeks? As we speak to you, the equalising fund does not take care of the floating stations. "So, whereas in Bonni, fuel sells for N150 a litre, in Enugu, which is far from Port Harcourt, it is sold for 70 Kobo, because you are writing off the transportation cost. "We found out that those things are very vague funds that set up, and access to them are discretionary more than the reality."

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