Femi Falana has expressed joy over the passing of the Amended Bill for Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Contracts Act by the Senate.
The Human Rights Activist in a letter to the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, further urged the lawmaker to engage the help of anti-graft agencies to recover $103.7billion in the hands of oil companies, 14 banks and others.
Falana also noted that the Supreme Court had in a ruling on 18 October, 2018, ordered the recovery of $62billion unpaid royalties from international oil companies in the last 18 years.
He also urged the Senate to recover $22billion and N481billion which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) failed to remit into the Federation Account as revealed by the National Extractive Industry and Transparency Initiative.
Read Falana’s letter in parts;
“In the course of our work on leakages in the national economy, we discovered that sometime in 2006, the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria illegally withdrew the sum of $7bn from the nation’s foreign reserves and fixed same in 14 commercial banks. For reasons best known to him, the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefile, has ignored our persistent demand for the recovery of the principal sum of $7bn and the accrued interests from the 14 commercial banks.
“In the light of the foregoing, it is clear that apart from the expected revenue of $1.5bn from the implementation of the amended Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Contracts Act the outstanding royalties, fixed deposit and other funds withheld or diverted from the Federation Account are not less than $103.7bn.
“If the National Assembly, under your able leadership, is prepared to resist pressures from vested interests and muster the political will to recover the said fund, Nigeria will have no business begging for foreign loans from China, African Development Bank and the World Bank. Therefore, the National Assembly may wish to collaborate with the anti-graft agencies in the recovery of the said sum of $103bn without any delay.”
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.