Buhari’s ‘boys’ accused of selling 468m barrels of crude oil upfront, embezzling the money
Some officials of the immediate past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari have been accused of selling upfront 468 million barrels of crude oil worth $32.7 billion at $70 per barrel and embezzling the money.
Mr. Jackson Ude, who made the allegation on his “X” (formerly Twitter) handle, @jacksonpbn, on Wednesday, said that the culprits never remitted the money into the Federation Account.
In the post entitled “$32.7 billion crude oil sold upfront looted by Buhari’s government“, Mr. Ude wrote:
“Some members of the Mohammadu Buhari’s administration sold upfront, a one year crude oil production of about 468 million barrels worth $32.7 billion at $70 per barrel and never remitted into the Federation Account.
“A security report being put together indicated that the funds were distributed into several private accounts.
“Investigations into the matter are ongoing. Those behind would soon be revealed, according to a Government source.
“A Reuters report in January 2023 said NNPC did not remit funds to federal accounts last year, its data showed, leaving a hole in public finances at a time when the government has been warning that low revenues and large deficits left it unable to stimulate the economy.”
The picture of the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipreye Sylva, and the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd., Mallam Mele Kyari, were also collaged in the post.
See a screenshot of the post below:
It is, therefore, little surprise that the President Bola Tinubu administration raised alarm that it met an empty treasury upon assumption of office on May 29, 2023, thereby, casting a bad light on the current state of Nigeria’s economy.
It could be recalled that the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, recently said that the financial distress currently plaguing the country is a direct result of President Tinubu’s administration inheriting an empty treasury from the previous administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
Ribadu made this statement on Monday, November 13, 2023, at the Chief of Defence Intelligence Annual Conference 2023.
Ribadu also said that despite the budgetary constraints, the federal government would do everything within its power to ensure a robust and viable defence management and expressed optimism that things would improve in a short time.
Meanwhile, according to available information, Nigeria’s oil production in the first quarter of 2023 was 284.7 million barrels, which was 184.1 million barrels less than the projected output of 468.8 million barrels.
The average price of Brent crude oil in the first quarter of 2023 was $75 per barrel1, which means that Nigeria could have earned about $35.16 billion from oil sales if it had met its production target.
However, the actual revenue from oil sales in the first quarter of 2023 was only N5.14 trillion, which is equivalent to about $12.4 billion at the official exchange rate of N415/$12.
This implies that Nigeria lost about $22.76 billion in potential oil revenue in the first quarter of 2023.
There could be many factors that contributed to the shortfall in oil production and revenue, such as oil theft, pipeline vandalism, force majeure, sabotage, technical issues, OPEC quota, and market fluctuations134.
However, there is also evidence of corruption and fraud in the oil sector, involving the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the state-owned oil company, and some officials of the Buhari administration.
For example, in 2016, an official audit found that the NNPC failed to pay the government $16 billion in a suspected fraud.
In 2017, the Buhari administration deepened business ties with Shell and Agip, despite ongoing worldwide investigations into the Malabu oil scandal, which involved the illegal sale of a lucrative oil block for $1.3 billion.
In 2020, the House of Representatives launched a probe into the alleged loss of $2.4 billion revenue from the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil.
Ever since the administration of Muhammadu Buhari vacated office, several revelations have been made to the massive, unbridled looting and rape on the economy by the immediate past government.
Currently, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is in detention over fraud and embezzlement of public funds running into trillions of Naira.