“This is the real money that should be recovered, that is why I am appealing to you NUPENG, PENGASSAN and NLC to assist in going to the root of this criminality at the international level and recover the money and put in the federation coffers so that our people can enjoy the benefits of oil and gas industry,’’
Mr Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has urged the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to join forces to ensure recovery of stolen oil revenue from the country
Falana gave the charge at the 40th anniversary of PENGASSAN in Abuja on Thursday with the theme “ Dynamic Labour Leadership Fueling the Economy’’
“ A study by NIMASA revealed that from January 2011 to December 2014, it was discovered that the oil that left Nigeria totaled 60.2 million barreled not recorded here was discharged in one port in Philadelphia in America.
“Dr Maikanti Baru, I am going to make the copy of the report and send them to you after this programme.
“The study revealed that the value of the money from oil stolen from Nigeria is 12.7 billion dollars, discharged in one port.
“We have identified who the oil majors are and the shipping companies involved but since then, 2014, we have been begging the Nigeria government to recover the money,’’ he said
He called on PENGASSAN, NUPENG, NLC to look into the stolen oil that is taken from Nigeria and discharged at U.S., India, China, France and Britain.
“ If we take the struggle serious, this country can make not less than 100 billion dollars,’’ he added
He further noted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should step up its work rather than chasing politicians for 50 million or 100 million naira.
“This is the real money that should be recovered, that is why I am appealing to you NUPENG, PENGASSAN and NLC to assist in going to the root of this criminality at the international level and recover the money and put in the federation coffers so that our people can enjoy the benefits of oil and gas industry,’’ he said
Falana noted that offshore and inland Sharing Contract Act that provided that for 50 years no royalty could be collected from oil and gas mined from below 1000 meters depth had expired in 2014.
He said that government should ensure that all the royalties accrued since 2014 till date should be collected and remitted into the government coffers.
He also charged the unions to look into the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and see how best it could be utilized for best interest of the country.
He said that the law was made for the fund to be used to train ordinary young Nigerians but noting that the children of the rich were the only ones benefiting from the fund.
“This law is not implemented to the benefit of ordinary Nigerians, you need to look into it and see who they give the scholarship,’’ he said.
Falana who was the guest speaker at the occasion said that it was unfortunate that Nigerian were yet to get value for investments in the oil and gas Sector.
He added that the union should not leave the fight against corruption for government alone as it required a collective collaboration.
“No government in the world can fight corruption leniently, even in the U.S, lead the Nigeria workers to wage corruption that is impartial and patriotic and ensure that nobody is above the law,’’ he said.
He further challenged the unions to look into the Halliburton case and see that justice prevailed and ensure t hat the recovered looted fund was used for the benefit of the country.
He commended the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National petroleum Corporation ( NNPC) Dr Maikanti Baru for the initiative of establishing world class hospital across the country.
“This is a noble idea, please; bring back Nigerian doctors abroad to manage this hospitals because, if Nigerian doctors in various countries return home, those countries will feel our impact.
“Our doctors are just servicing other nations which is too bad for us,’’ he said (NAN)