A group of civil society organisations comprising ActionAid Nigeria, BudgIT, Centre for Social Justice and Christian Aid have called on the federal government to urgently end the calamitous crude oil theft in the delta region and safe the country a huge money for fiscal expenses.
The group claims that 400,000 barrels of crude oil is lost daily, which translates to be $1.2 billion per month and $14.4 billion (N6.272 trillion) per annum. The group believes that if the sum is brought into account in the books of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, it will increase its profit and the dividends paid to the government.
The civil society organisations also urged the authorities to ensure that monthly remittance of interim operating surplus and reconciliation of cumulative remittances after year end is converted to a monthly deduction by the accountant-general of the federation.
The CSOs made the call yesterday while presenting their recommendations on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper of the federal government.
Leader of the group, Mr Eze Onyekpere who said federal government need not wait for its enterprises to remit but the platform should be set up in such a manner that facilitates automatic deduction thereby ensuring that the sums due to federal government is not under any circumstance available for government owned enterprises expenditure.
The group also called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the removal of the leadership of NNPCL under whose watch the crude oil stealing has escalated. In the alternative, the CSOs expect the government to set clear theft reduction targets for the leadership of NNPC and the security agencies.