Nigeria’s Petroleum Corporation lifts 7.2 million barrels of oil valued $885m ‘illegally’ – Report

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) lifted crude oil beyond the levels allocated to it for domestic consumption, thereby short-changing the Federation Account by about $885.7 million (N133 billion) in six months, the Daily Trust of Nigeria reports citing documents it has obtained from the Federation Account Allocation Committee.

According to the publication October 3, 2011, the NNPC lifted an extra 7,239,039 barrels of crude oil on top of the 80,545,000 barrels it was supposed to lift for refining and sale to the domestic market between January and June this year.

The corporation is entitled to lift 445,000 barrels of crude oil per day only, meant to be refined and sold at home. Because the local refineries are not working to capacity, NNPC sells part of this allocation abroad and then imports refined products to meet the domestic consumption needs, said the report.

Given the breakdown, the document, the publication cited indicates that in January the NNPC lifted 11,541,26 barrels, being 2.25 million barrels short of its allocation but in the other five months till June, the corporation overshot its limit.

The following are the figures Daily Trust cited from the document:

“In February, the corporation lifted 13,042,899 barrels instead of 12,460,000 barrels, thereby short changing the Federation Account by 582, 899 barrels, amounting to $47,401,346.68, based on the average $81.32 per barrel oil price for February.”

“In March, it lifted 16,303,115 barrels instead of 13,795,000 barrels, translating into 2,508,115 barrels extra and amounting to $237,568,652.8. Average crude oil price for the month was $94.72 per barrel.”

“In April the additional crude lifted was 2,231,828 barrels, translating into $227,981,230, based on the average price of $102.15 per barrel.”

“In May, instead of 13,350,000 barrels, NNPC lifted 15,035,592 barrels and when the extra 1,240,592 barrels is converted, it shows that the corporation short changed Federation Account by $115,275,808.64.  Average oil price for May was $92.92 per barrel.”

“In June, the NNPC lifted 16,278,879 barrels instead of 13,350,000, amounting to $257,507,041.68, at average price of $87.92 per barrel.”

The report said the documents revealed that the NNPC and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) short-changed the Federation Account by about N746.95 billion in seven months from January to July, through deductions supposedly meant for fuel subsidies.

The two agencies paid themselves well above the monthly subsidy rates approved for them by the Appropriation Act. Based on the law, NNPC is entitled to N9.08 billion per month for subsidies, while the PPPRA is entitled to N11.417 billion per month. But each of the two agencies took more than the budgeted amount every month since January, it adds.

By Ekow Quandzie

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