David Cameron on Nigeria’s $100b oil money

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Pastor Taiwo (JP)’ Social Anaylist & Public Commentator

IT was pleasant news that David Cameron, Prime Minister of Britain was obliging to assist Nigerians to know what we David Cameronnever knew about our oil money that was never made public by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

At G8 Economic Summit in Davos on Thursday January 24th, 2013, Cameron expressed his concern over Nigeria’s oil and gas income. He averred that “l want this G8 to lead a big push for transparency across the developing world. To illustrate why, let me give you one example. A few years back a transparency initiative exposed a huge black hole in Nigeria’s finances, an $800m discrepancy between companies’ payments and government’s receipts for oil. This is leading to new regulation of Nigeria’s oil sector so the richness of the earth can actually enrich the people of that country.

And the potential is staggering.

Last year Nigerian oil exports were worth almost $100b, more than total net aid to the whole of Sub-Sahara Africa. Put simply unleashing the natural resources in these countries dwafts anything aid can achieve – and transparency is critical to that..

“So we are going to push for more transparency on who owns companies, on who’s buying up land and for what purpose, on how governments spend their money, on how gas, oil and mining companies operate, on who is hiding stolen assets and how we recover and return them.

“Like everything else in this G8, the ambitions are big – and I make no apology for that thirty years ago more than half the planet lived on the equivalent of $1.25 a day or less. Today it is around a fifth.” David Cameron said all these without apology to anybody who might felt exposed.

Data released by the Energy Information Administration of the United States Department of Energy, showed that out of $1.15trillion released from oil by the 12 OPEC member states, Nigeria gets $90b, being the forth highest in the team in 2012.The Federal Inland Revenue Service also collected about N5 trillion as tax in 2012. While in 2011 the total revenue from oil was $65b with N4.62 trillion realised as tax the same year. Yet with all these income from oil & tax, and increased in oil production of 2.4 million bpd with over $100 per barrel, Nigeria became a worst country for a child to be born and saddest people on earth with dilapidated infrastructure as our lots and ever increasing debts profile both foreign and domestic with nothing to show for it physically. While some serious OPEC countries who also made great money from oil at the same time as ours are recording tremendious progresses.

It is shameful that Quater with 1.7m population in 2011 released a plan to invest $150b of her oil wealth on infrastructure over 5years with already increased electricity generation from 2,200Mw in 2001 to 8,750Mw as of today. And Saudi Arabia with population of 28m people is planning to spend $100b to add 30,OOOMw to its 40,OOOMw currently generated. Venezuela is also investing her oil revenue into transportation, plus the construction of 1,000-kilomitre railway line at the cost of $

World Bank experts had equally stated before that Nigeria get 90% of her total revenue from oil, and 80% of her total revenue is in the hands of 1% of the population. Why is looting of the treasury so endemic and our leaders flagitious about making the masses poorer in Nigeria.

It took the audacity of David Cameron to challenge our profligate leaders on the issues of $100b oil money accrued to Nigeria government last year alone, an equivalent of N15.6 trillion, and no response from the government’s poachers turned game keepers, ‘today’s men’, official minions and presidential vassals in defence of the great revelation from Britain.

Premised on this clarion call by Cameron, the president peregrinated to London on what God knows mission on Tuesday 5th February, 2013 probably to sort out things with David Cameron in London on his open determination to enforce transparency and expose corruption in Nigeria oil and gas income. It was derisible that no British official was at the airport to welcome the Nigerian President save the Nigerian Ambassador and other Nigerian officials in London.

David Comeron knew how much his country was given to the whole of Sub-Sahara Africa developing countries as aid, and was pained that what Nigeria government got from oil in last year alone was far greater than what all the aids can give, yet the money is not translated to better conditions of living for Nigerian masses in general.

His interest in letting the wealth of Nigeria gets to the generality of Nigerians is loudable and commendable. It was heroic for him to have addressed the G8 members on the need for them to help expose who owns oil and gas companies, who own lands, how the money from oil and gas has been spent and who are those people hiding stolen money and assist to recover them and return them.

The case of James Ibori that stole above $50b from Delta State that no Nigerian Court could cage him until Britain’s Metropolitan Police stepped into the case and got him convicted and incarcerated in London is enough to let our leaders cover their eyes in shame.

The money that can finance our national budget in the next three years are yet to be accounted for.

The government will need to brace up and speak out on this brazen allegation and make known to Nigeria public what happened to $100b or N15.6 trillion oil money they received last year because silence means consent and travelling to London now does not solve the problem, the cat has been let out of the bag already, for the news is already in the public domain, what we are waiting for is their explanation, whether David Cameron also gaffed like they carpetted the former Minister of Education, Oby Ejekwesili on her allegation that $67b was left in the treasury in 2007 i.e. $45b foreign reserves and $22b excess crude oil account had been sqandered by both Yar’adua and Jonathan’s governments ..

David Cameron can never be given to frivolity as I can say, being an international man and world elder state man, who can never be given to riddle chatter.

On Thursday 7th February, 2013 the report of the House Committee on finance an independent revenue generation and remittance to the consolidated Revenue Fund by government – owned agencies that was considered, alleged that many agencies of the government are not remitting their money generated from 2009 – 2012 to the tune of N8.8 trillion. What can we say of these agencies. Are they a disservice to the common interest of the common people of this nation or serving some notorious cabal.? The report revealed that in 2009, the agencies generated N3.06 trillion as independent revenue, but remitted only N46.8b or 1.53% to the treasury. In 2010, the agencies realised N3.07 trillion but remitted N54.1b or 1.76%.

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