Collaborate to recover $103.7bn oil sale funds diverted from Federation Account- Falana tells Senate

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Collaborate to recover $103.7bn oil sale funds diverted from Federation Account- Falana tells Senate

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Femi Falana, has asked the National Assembly to collaborate with anti-graft agencies for the recovery of oil sale funds lost from the federation’s account.

According to a letter sent to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Mr Falana claimed that about “$103.7 billion” generated from oil sale have been withheld or diverted from the nation’s coffers.

Mr Falana in his letter argued that if the nation can recover the money lost to oil sale, there would be no need to seek foreign loans.

Falana’s letter comes on heels of an announcement by the Finance Minister, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, stating that Nigeria has secured a $3 billion loan from the World Bank in April.

This fund according to Mrs Ahmed, would be used for reforming the nation’s power sector.

However, Mr Falana is of the opinion that the nation would not need to get into debt if the National Assembly can work with the anti-graft agencies to locate and recover the funds he alleges are missing from the country’s purse.

But Falana said Nigeria lost a larger part of the proceeds from oil as a result of the non-implementation of the deep offshore and inland basin production contracts act.

In his letter dated October 18, the Senior Advocate said he drew the attention of the Federal Government to the loss of billions of dollars arising from the non implementation of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Contracts Act.

Falana further stated that based on the provisions of the law the Federal Government and the International Oil Companies entered into Production Sharing Contracts which provided for an upward review of the loyalties whenever crude oil was sold beyond $20 per barrel in the international market.

He stressed that even though the price of crude was beyond $100 per barrel in the recent past both parties ignored the provisions of the law to the detriment of the national economy.

The human rights activist alleged that in the course of his work on leakages in the national economy, he and his team have also discovered that sometime in 2006, the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) illegally withdrew $7 billion from the nation’s foreign reserves and fixed same in 14 commercial banks.

He said Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, had also ignored their demand for the recovery of the $7 billion and the accrued interests from the 14 commercial banks.

Mr Falana further stated that apart from the expected revenue of $1.5 billion 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 $103.7 billion.

Below is the Senior Advocate’s letter to the Senate President in which he urges the National Assembly to look into recovering the funds which he argues will keep the country from having to borrow.