The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) yesterday summoned the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, over alleged missing N91trillion oil revenue.
Also to appear alongside Baru, on a yet to be fixed date, are Managing Directors of Alkhairi Oil Plus Energy Limited, Mr. Ibrahim Bature and Mahat Petroleum/Gas Limited, Mr. Friday Olelewe.
The Committee Chairman, Joseph Akinlaja (ZLP, Ondo) who announced the summon in Abuja said the invitees must appear before the Committee to explain their role in the alleged backhand lifting of 80 trillion metric tonnes of crude oil since 27 June, 2016, in which Nigeria has lost over N91 trillion revenue.
According to him, the Committee’s investigation rests on a motion on the floor of the House in June 2018, which disclosed that Nigeria is currently losing over N91trn naira over an illegal oil deal between NNPC and a Chinese oil lifting firm, Huang Bo Hai Petrochemical Industries Limited.
“Without NNPC and Alkhairi Oil Limited and Mahat Petroleum, I don’t think we can make any progress in this investigation.
“We want to use this medium to summon their Managing Directors to appear before this Committee to tell Nigerians the truth about the oil lifting deal in which Nigeria has been shortchanged of over N91 trillion, more than 12 year budget, since 2016.
“This illegal deal is between the NNPC and its agents, Alkhairi and Mahat on the one hand and Huang Bo Hai and its own agent, Effizhy Oil and Gas on the other hand. They must all appear before this committee in our next sitting or we invoke the necessary legal instrument,” Akinlaja warned.
Mr. Bola Aidi, a lawyer who represented Ephizhy Oil at the hearing noted that an agreement between NNPC and Huang Bo Hai on the alleged deal stipulated that the 80 trillion metric tones of crude, comprising 1,045 barrels per tonne, would be lifted at N42 each.
“The bigger picture is that of the N42, NNPC takes N37, my client Ephizhy takes N4, making a total of N41 per barrel. This means that N1 is unaccounted for. If you multiply it by 80 trillion metric tonnes, that is a huge chunk,” Aidi told the Committee.
However, NNPC, in a letter sent to the Committee by its GMD, Maikanti Baru, vehemently denied the existence of such deal.
Mr. Akinlaja said by denying the existence of the deal, NNPC had admitted that it does not have a proper record of its transaction, “which is why they appear to explain why the country is being short-changed of such huge amount.”
But Mr. Aidi said he has “incontrovertible evidence of the existence of the transaction,” which he said had been ongoing since 2016, and was even reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).