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How banks colluded with oil majors to defraud Nigeria of $62.91b – Senate

by on May 15, 2017
 
The Senate has affirmed that the Federal Government lost over $62.91 billion in five years through shady deals between some Nigerian banks and multi-na­tional oil companies.
The fraud was allegedly com­mitted between August 2009 and 2014.
In the alleged secret deal, the af­fected commercial banks connived with the International Oil Com­panies (IOCs) to move the money out of the country through dubious transactions.
Over $62.909 billion was taken out of the country under suspicious cir­cumstances between August 2009 and December 2014 alone.
A document on the controver­sial transactions showed that the fig­ures were obtained when the Sen­ate asked the affected banks to sub­mit all copies of certified Nigeria Export Proceed (NXP) issued/or processed by them in respect of all crude oil and gas exported by Nige­ria Agip Company Ltd, Chevron Ni­geria Limited, Shell Petroleum De­velopment Company (SPDC) Ltd and their affiliates between April 1996 to December 2016.
In the document, Agip record­ed a total export inflow of $15.372 billion while Chevron had a total in­flow of $44.020 billion.
Similarly, Shell made a total in­flow valued at $3.516 billion bring­ing the total to $62.909 billion.
The document further showed that Citibank Nigeria operated three domiciliary export proceeds ac­counts for ENI Group, six for Chev­ron Group and two for Shell.
The Senate is conducting an investigation into the pre-ship­ment inspection of export activi­ties in Nigeria. It is being carried out by the Senate Joint Commit­tee on Finance, Trade and Invest­ment, Gas, Petroleum Upstream, Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Mat­ters, and Customs and Excise.
The panel asked the banks to submit all domiciliary accounts opened and /or closed within the period for all crude oil and gas exported.
Two banks – Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank – ap­peared before the committee re­cently while other banks associ­ated with the export of oil and gas will come at a later date.
A member of the commit­tee, Senator Yusuf Yusuf (Tara­ba State) queried why funds brought into the country as oil export proceeds are wholly with­drawn a day after they were re­mitted.
He said that the probe be­came necessary because the banks had the obligation under the law to ensure that petroleum products exporters do the right thing by obeying the guidelines and laws of the country.
Yusuf said: “It is worrisome that money comes in today, to­morrow the same amount goes out of the country. The practice runs through statements of ac­count submitted by the banks. The oil companies bring in $20 billion today, the next day the $20 billion is taken out from the account.
“The banks are colluding with multinational oil compa­nies to defraud the country. The government relies on the banks, which are now colluding with the multinational oil companies.”
He said that it was obvious that Nigeria was not getting the correct export proceeds from oil and gas exports.
The lawmaker, who insisted that banks have the responsibil­ity to abide by the law, said that it is equally worrisome that no indications are made about who pays for oil exports.
The Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator John Enoh, said that the panel was interested in ensuring that banks were not colluding with the IOCs to flout the laws of the country.
Enoh said that the commit­tee would take a critical look at the submissions made by the banks to come to terms with the true position and processes of oil and gas exports proceeds.

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