A civil society organisation, Policy Alert, has urged the Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu to investigate all crude oil swap deals entered into by the federal government with commodity traders since 2010.
The group, which works to promote economic and ecological justice in the country, said the request was part of the communique issued by participants in its Twitter space on Tuesday.
The Twitter space has as its theme, “Beneficial ownership and Nigeria’s crude swaps – priorities for the new administration.”
Mr Tinubu had in his inaugural address as Nigerian President on 29 May declared that the era of petrol subsidy was over.
Days after the announcement, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Mele Kyari said it has commenced the termination of crude oil swap contracts and will pay cash for petrol import, TheCable had reported, citing Reuters.
Mr Kyari said it had practically terminated all direct sale direct purchase contracts in the last four months and added that private companies will import the bulk of petrol needed in the country.
The direct purchase contract is an agreement that allows sales of crude oil to refiners, who will in turn supply NNPCL with an equivalent worth of petroleum products.
But Policy Alert said terminating the direct purchase contract alone was not enough and would amount to half-measure if the “corrupt system underpinning the swaps was not investigated, loss recovered, culprits punished and safeguard instituted.”
The group, therefore, urged President Tinubu to investigate the oil swap deals from 2010 to expose and bring to book those “who facilitated or benefited from the corruption prone-regimes.”
While applauding the NNPCL for ending the direct purchase contract, the group said the scrapping of the policy was long overdue, adding that the “swap deals have been poorly regulated, opaque and prone to corruption resulting in billions of dollars in losses to government.”
The NNPCL, the group said “owes it to Nigerian public to publish the traded volumes, payments received by government and the status of outstanding liabilities owed the federation for its oil-for-product swap deals with oil and gas commodity trading companies particularly from 2010 till date.
“The company must ensure that, going forward, transparent criteria are set for selecting the private importers to avoid a repeat of past mistakes, and this must include the disclosure of beneficial owners of the contracted firms.”
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