Home / Columns / [OPINION] Stolen $20 billion or $ 90 billion dollars – Additional Financial Mathematics

[OPINION] Stolen $20 billion or $ 90 billion dollars – Additional Financial Mathematics

There is a financial mathematical inclination to believe that about $90 billion dollars have been missing under NNPC since the inception of Jonathan administration than the $ 20 billion dollars as revealed by the sacked Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido.

According to Sanusi Lamido when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance in February 2014,“as far as the Central Bank is concerned, the most important point to establish is that there is a difference of $20 billion between what NNPC shipped and what it repatriated”.

According to the Managing Director of Shell Group, Mr Mutiu Sumonu , $ 5 billion dollars is stolen annually by oil bunkerers. Speaking at the Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Up-Stream) and Navy in 2012, Sumonu said that “The scale of crude oil theft now is more than what the oil companies can handle. It is extremely pervasive now. If you over-fly the whole of our operational areas in the Niger Delta, you will see canoes, barges and illegal refineries all over the place…”The country is losing about 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the equivalent of $5 billion per annum. Imagine what that amount of money could do to our economy if we chose to put it into the power sector”.

According to the Chairman House ad-hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft, Bashir Adamu, $5 billion dollars is annually stolen by oil thieves. Speaking during the inauguration of the Committee in 2013, Bashir disclosed that “The oil and gas industry accounts for about two-thirds of government revenue and more than 90 per cent of export earnings in Nigeria. “Illegal bunkering has caused Nigeria to lose an estimated $5 billion (N780 billion) yearly, amounting to $400 billion since Nigeria’s independence”

According to the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, Nigeria lost $11 billion dollars to crude oil theft in 2013 alone. While disclosing this at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja in March 2014, Yakubu said that “in 2013 alone, the country lost 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd). By implication, computing these figures at an average price of $100 per barrel, it would result in a total loss of $10,950,000,000 (300,000 x $100 per barrel x 365 days= $10,950,000,000) in 2013 alone”.

According to the Comptroller General of Customs, Mr Dikko Inde, the nation lost N603.8 billion naira ($4 billion dollars) to waivers in 9 months, out of which N263 billion naira was for petroleum products. Speaking when he appeared before the Joint Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriation in 2013, The Customs boss said that “of the N603.8 billion, N263.8 billion was lost to waiver granted on importation of petroleum products.”

According to a report by a Swiss based non-governmental advocacy group titled “Swiss Traders Opaque Deals in Nigeria,” the Berne Declaration, that outlined how the NNPC, in connivance with two Swiss oil trading companies- Vitol and Trafigura, drained Nigeria of over $6.8 billion in subsidy payments through shady deals involving lifting of crude oil at prices far below what obtained in the open market. This revelation sparked off outrage in Nigeria’s Senate in November 2013 but the lawmakers have probably forgiven the offenders.

In 2012, following the exposition of another $ 1 billion dollars Malabu Oil Scam where funds were wired into the private accounts of some friends of government, the embarrassed Nigeria Senate mandated its Committee on Upstream and Finance to investigate everything about the Malabu/ OPL 245 deal.

According to Hon Farouk Lawan ad-hoc Committee on Subsidy report, N1.2 trillion ($ 6.8 billion dollars) was overpayments in subsidy which they asked the indicted companies to refund to the government coffers. The Committee had reported that contrary to earlier figures from various official sources, subsidy payment of N2.59 trillion had been made as at 31st December, 2011, an amount more than 900 percent over the appropriated sum of N245 billion.” In addition, there are “outstanding claims by NNPC and the marketers in excess of N270 billion as subsidy payments for 2011.” The Committee, in its report, established that “NNPC was found not to be accountable to anybody or authority”. Based on these findings, the committee recommended among others that, “ii. The freezing of the accounts and recovery of all illegal payments made to the Petroleum marketing firms, the NNPC, PPPRA and others which, according to the House Committee, amount to N1.2 trn or $6.8bn”

Therefore, for the purposes of this mathematical analysis, we shall use the period Goodluck Jonathan became the substantive President of Nigeria, which is May 2010 till when Sanusi revealed the missing $20 billion dollars, a total of forty five (45 months). The second calculation will be based on the period Jonathan became president in 2010 till May 2015, when Jonathan’s first tenure would have expired, which is sixty (60 months). Though the NNPC had agreed that under their watch, $ 11 billion dollars was stolen in 2013 alone, we shall still use the conservative figure of $ 5 billion dollars annually to calculate the oil theft. The use of least average in cost computations is applied.

Therefore, in Jonathan’s 45 month period as President of Nigeria, there is a probability that the stated sums might have missed under the watch of NNPC and other agencies

1 $20 billion dollars missing in 18 months =$1.1 billion monthly x 45 months =$49.5 billion dollars
2 $5 billion dollars lost annually to oil thieves =$0.41 billion monthly x 45 months =$18.5 billion dollars
3 $1.5 billion dollars (N263 billion naira) lost to suspicious waiver on petroleum products in 9 months=$0.16 billion monthly x 45 months =$7.2 billon dollars
4 Subsidy Scam of 2011=$ 6.8 billion dollars
5 Swiss-NNPC Oil Scam of 2013=$ 6.8 billion dollars
6 Malabu Oil Scam of 2011=$1 billion dollar Total probable missing/ stolen or unremitted Oil funds in 45 months =89.8 billion dollars
Going further, In Jonathan’s 60 month period ending May 29, 2015, there is a probability that the sums stated below might have totally missed if he fails to tackle corruption within NNPC
1 $20 billion dollars missing in 18 months =$1.1 billion monthly x 60 months =$ 66 billion dollars
2 $5 billion dollars lost annually to oil thieves =$0.41 billion monthly x 60 months=$ 25 billion dollars
3 $1.5 billion dollars (N263 billion naira) lost to suspicious waiver on petroleum products in 9 months=$0.16 billion monthly x 60 months= $ 9.6billion dollars
4 Subsidy Scam of 2011=$ 6.8 billion dollars
5 Swiss-NNPC Oil Scam of 2013=$ 6.8 billion dollars
6 Malabu Oil Scam of 2011=$1 billion dollars

Total probable missing/ stolen or unremitted Oil funds in 60 months = 115.2 billion dollars.

Therefore, with additional sums of either 89.8 billion dollars stolen, missing, unremitted, diverted , waiver-ed off between May 2010 when the incumbent took over and February 2014 when the CBN chief was sacked, and a probability that further loss cumulating to $115.2 billion dollars would probably have been stolen by May 29, 2015 the nation is already in financial mess.

In an earlier piece first published in April 2012 and titled, ‘How Babangida, Abacha, Obasanjo shared Nigeria’s Oil Blocks’, I had opined that “Discretionary allocation of oil blocks entails that a president can reward a mistress who performs wonderfully with an oil block with capacity for cumulative yield of over $20 billion dollars without recourse to any process outside of manhood attachments”.

I also added in the report that “Signature bonuses which are paid when an investor successfully bids, wins and signs agreement with the petroleum ministry, running into tens of millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of naira, is often waived off. There is actually no waiver; rather a diversion of what would have been paid to government t coffers is paid into private purse as appreciation gifts. THAT IS WHY THOSE IN THE PETROLEUM MINISTRY DREAD RETIREMENT AS THOUGH IT SIGNIFIES GOING TO HELL FIRE . No matter how little your influence, something substantial must enter your hands especially in hard currency. The nation loses billions of dollars in diverted revenue whenever any round of auction occurs”.

The volume of corruption as recently revealed by state agencies had shown that what was contained in that report was a mere tip of the iceberg. NNPC has proven worse than Boko Haram because the fraud within it had sent millions of Nigerians to early grave due to poverty, diseases, armed robbery, and ritual killings. I therefore, advise President Jonathan to urgently declare a State of Emergency in NNPC bearing in mind that additional financial mathematics shows a probable theft of $ 90 billion dollars might have occurred therein.

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