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N16.25tr lost to oil theft, $74.386b spent on fuel subsidy, says NEITI

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Ogbonnaya Orji, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), revealed that Nigeria has suffered losses of more than N16.25 trillion due to oil theft in the country. During an interactive session in Abuja with the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Bamidele Salam, Orji also claimed that successive administrations have spent $74.386 billion on fuel subsidy since 2011.

According to Orji, NEITI has compiled the actual subsidy payments made each year, relying on data collected and verified by industry operators and other stakeholders. NEITI has also uncovered more than $8.3 billion in unremitted revenue by privately owned oil companies and government agencies. This unremitted revenue was not paid into the Federation Account, contrary to the provisions in existing financial regulations. NEITI is collaborating with various enforcement institutions, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to recover these funds for the government.

Orji provided detailed information about the revenue earned from oil and gas since 1999, as well as the subsidies paid annually since 2005, totaling $74.386 billion by 2021. He also highlighted the loss of $16.25 billion to oil theft in Nigeria, calculated from data gathered through various reports and sign-offs by operators and government agencies.

NEITI’s work has led to the recovery of substantial funds for the government, emphasizing the importance of transparency, accuracy, and diligent record-keeping in financial transactions. Orji emphasized the cooperative relationship between NEITI and the House Committee on Public Accounts, aiming to provide maximum cooperation.

He also mentioned NEITI’s upcoming report on fiscal allocation and statutory disbursements, scheduled for release on November 9, 2023, which will provide information on the beneficiaries and how the funds were allocated and utilized by government agencies and companies in the extractive sector. This report aims to ensure transparency, accountability, and adherence to proper allocation and distribution of funds for the benefit of all Nigerians.

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