Tinubu is urged by SERAP to investigate suspected missing oil revenues $15bn and N200bn.
The Socio-economic Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Bola Tinubu to set up a presidential panel of inquiry to promptly probe the grim allegations that over $15 billion of oil revenues and N200 billion budgeted to repair the refineries are missing and unaccounted for between 2020 and 2021, as documented by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
SERAP also urged the President to fully implement all the recommendations by NEITI contained in its 2021 report. In the letter dated September 23, 2023, signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said there is a legitimate public interest in ensuring justice and accountability for these allegations.
Taking these important measures would end the impunity of perpetrators.
SERAP said: “As President and Minister of Petroleum Resources, your office ought to be concerned about these damning revelations by getting to the bottom of the allegations, ensuring that suspected perpetrators are promptly brought to justice, and any missing public funds fully recovered.”
The organization noted that failure to do these would have serious resource allocation problems, worsening the country’s debt burden.
The group added: “It would also create cynicism, suspicion, and eventually citizens’ distrust about the ability of your government to combat high-level official corruption, as well as deter foreign investment, limiting growth and development.
”The findings, SERAP said, suggest a grave violation of public trust and the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], national anticorruption laws, and the country’s obligations under the United Nations (UN) convention against corruption.
SERAP said: “The allegations of corruption documented by NEITI undermine the economic development of the country and trap the majority of Nigerians in poverty, depriving them of opportunities.”
“According to the 2021 report by NEITI, the government agencies, including the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPDC), failed to remit $13.591 million and $8.251 billion to the public treasury.
“The NNPCL and NPDC failed to remit over 70 percent of these public funds. NEITI wants both NNPC and NPDC to be investigated and for the missing public funds to be fully recovered.”
Quoting Section 16(1) of the Constitution, the organization said the government has a responsibility to’secure the maximum welfare, freedom, and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice, equality of status, and opportunity.