CORRUPTION BAZAAR: Over N5 trillion stolen under Jonathan – PUNCH Investigation

Published:25 Nov, 2012

Over N5tn in government funds have been stolen through fraud, embezzlement and theft since President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office on May 6, 2010, a SUNDAY PUNCH investigation has found.

Our correspondents arrived at the stolen sum after poring over the reports of the various committees set up by the President to probe some sectors of the economy, particularly oil and gas. SUNDAY PUNCH also relied on disclosures by some senior government officials.

Five trillion naira is the summation of government funds said to have been stolen, according to the Mallam Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Task Force report; the Minister of Trade and Investment’s report on stolen crude; the House of Representatives fuel subsidy report and investigations into the ecological fund, SIM card registration and frequency band spectrum sale.

The Ribadu report on the oil and gas sector put daily crude oil theft at a high 250,000 barrels daily at a cost of $6.3bn (N1.2trn) a year. This puts the total amount lost through oil theft in the two years of Jonathan’s government at over $12.6bn (N2trn).

Oil theft is common in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. In June, a special naval team impounded a French ship, MT Vannessa, at Brass Loading Terminal, Bayelsa State, for allegedly stealing 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the country.

Our sister publication, SATURDAY PUNCH, had reported that the suspects, in their confessional statements, indicted some political office holders, many fuel marketers and some officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Department of Petroleum Resources.

In October, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, in a letter to the President, said 24 million barrels of oil worth $1.6bn (N252bn) was stolen between July and September.

According to Aganga, his signature was forged on the Export Clearance Permit that was used to export the crude oil from Nigeria.

Confirming that oil theft was depleting Nigeria’s resources, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in May, said the government lost a fifth of its oil revenues to theft in April.

Apart from income lost through oil theft, the Ribadu report also said ministers of Petroleum Resources between 2008 and 2011 handed out seven discretionary oil licences and that government lost $183m (N29bn) in signature bonuses via these deals.

The Ribadu panel discovered that three of the oil licences were awarded under the current petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who took up her position in 2010. Alison-Madueke, however, denied knowledge of the discretionary awards.

Shortly before the Ribadu report, the House of Representatives had raised the alarm that the N2.6trn the Federal Government paid for oil subsidy in 2011 could not be properly accounted for.

The House said, “Fuel subsidy payments amounted to N261.1bn in 2006, N278.8bn in 2007 and N346.7bn in 2008, but, even after the subsidy on diesel had been removed, the ‘subsidy’ payments jumped to N2.58trn in 2011 — more than 900 per cent of the sum appropriated for the year (N245bn).”

A subsequent report by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments, led by Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, revealed that in 2011, 197 subsidy transactions worth N232bn were illegitimate.

These frauds are not limited to the oil industry, as similar probes have shown that almost all sectors are involved.

In July, the House of Representatives Committee on Environment discovered a tree seedling fraud worth N2bn awarded by the Ecological Fund office.

Chairman of the committee on environment, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, said this during an investigative hearing on the mismanagement of ecological funds for the development of tree nurseries and seedlings in the 36 states.

According to her, out of the N3bn approved by the Presidency in 2010, N2bn was released to the contractors and consultants without government getting value.

Minister of Environment Hadiza Mailafia, however, said the contract was awarded by her predecessor.

In the telecommunications sector, the House instituted a probe into the sale of the frequency brand spectrum, which was reportedly sold for less than its value.

The 450MHz frequency, which was valued at over $50m, was allegedly sold for less than $6m (a difference of $44m or N6.9bn) by the Nigeria Communications Commission.

In the same sector, the reps, earlier this year, commenced investigations into the N6.1bn SIM card registration project embarked upon by the NCC in 2011.

The investigation followed the delay in completing the exercise and the request by NCC for additional N1bn for the project in its 2012 budget.

The lawmakers insisted that the NCC had no business embarking on the project since various service providers were already registering their subscribers.

Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Communications, Mr. Usman Bawa, had said, “The NCC has no business with SIM card registration. Apart from that, the service providers have done about 80 per cent of the registration because they started before the NCC. To me, for the regulatory body to be involved in the registration is a duplication of effort, a waste of resources and time.

“Even, the manner with which the bill for the N6.1bn was passed during the Sixth Assembly showed that there was more to it than meets the eyes. From our investigations, from which our report was compiled, our interactions with the NCC contractors for the SIM card registration and the service providers, a lot has been exposed and this was part of the reason why we removed the N1bn that was budgeted for the same SIM card registration in the last budget.”

It would be recalled that the then Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili, had, in August, 2010, agreed that the amount budgeted for SIM card registration was exorbitant.

Reacting to the massive frauds that have greeted Jonathan’s tenure, Transparency International, told one of our correspondents that Nigeria would continue to slack in development as long as it keeps paying lip service to the fight against corruption.

It said via electronic mail, “President Jonathan should insist that those accused of corruption are properly investigated and punished if found guilty, irrespective of their positions and connections. The judiciary must be seen as impartial and fair.

“To signal a break with the past, the government should set up an independent investigatory panel to review charges of corruption within government and the private sector. President Jonathan should endorse the panel and commit to ensure it has both the scope and the power to investigate and prosecute.

“This is not just a matter of justice; fighting corruption can affect the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. The current culture of corruption hurts the majority of Nigerians while the inequality gap widens.”

Also speaking to SUNDAY PUNCH, the Director, Centre for Applied Economics, Lagos Business School, Prof. Pat Utomi, said the spate of corruption in the country was unprecedented.

The political economist argued that prosecution and jail terms for corrupt individuals would not be as effective as building a societal institution that would prevent corruption.

A former Vice Chancellor, Crescent University, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, also warned that corruption would spell doom for the country if the trend continued.

He said, “It is unfortunate that the country will not be able to meet the Millennium Development Goals. There is a need for the masses to hold a three-day protest against corruption to force government to prosecute those indicted for corruption.”

Similarly, Executive Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said, “For Jonathan to fight corruption, he must start with his cabinet. The way Jonathan is going about his campaign against corruption is not the best way to go about it.”

A global audit and financial advisory firm, KPMG, had on Thursday stated that Nigeria accounted for the highest number of fraud cases in Africa in the first half of 2012.

The cost of fraud in the country during the period was put at $1.5bn (N225bn).

 

via Punch

  • legalgal

    This is improvement ! @ least now we know how much is being stolen . ( hahahaa joke!! ) we have to find a way to deal with or should I say make GEJ face these issues. It must Be well Nigeria !

  • Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been running a blog for? you made blogging look easy. The entire look of your web site is great, let alone the content material!

Related Posts

Recent Posts

That Coup in Turkey By Cemal Yigit

This is certainly not the best of times for us. We have experienced one too many distractions in recent times. And the last is the coup attempt by a section of the Turkish Military. On that day, I had a long day at work, and all I wanted was to retire home to the comfort of my family and get some well-deserved rest. But I was wrong. By 10.30pm, my phone began buzzing, calls from everywhere. I was confused...

Jibrin Drops New Bombshell On How Dogara, Lasun Others Padded 2016 Budget

Former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has reiterated that allegations of budget padding levied by him against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and other principal members should not be taken as an attack on the House as an institution.   In a personal statement by the lawmaker released to the media, Jibrin gave details of how the process of screening the 2016 budget by the appropriation committee was hijacked by Dogara and a cabal within the House. According...

Jibrin: How Dogara And His Cabal Hijacked 2016 Budget Screening, I Regret Working To Make Him Speaker

Former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has reiterated that allegations of budget padding levied by him against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and other principal members should not be taken as an attack on the House as an institution. In a personal statement by the lawmaker released to the media, Jibrin gave details of how the process of screening the 2016 budget by the appropriations...

The Gulen Movement Is Not A Cult — It’s One Of The Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Today – Graham Fuller

Last week witnessed what may be the last act of an unfolding struggle between two major Islamic movements in Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused exiled Islamic leader Fethullah Gulen of plotting last week’s failed coup against the government. Immediately thereafter, Erdogan unleashed massive Stalin-style purges and arrests across the country of anyone suspected of any connection with Gulen or indeed of anyone of any ideology who opposes Erdogan. First of all, when we talk about Islamic leaders in...

Indian Military Antonov Plane Goes Missing

An Indian military plane with 29 people on board has gone missing over the Bay of Bengal which is the largest bay in the world and is found at the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean.  According to the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Antonov-32 transporter aircraft took off from Chennai (Madras) at 08:30 local time (03:00 GMT), bound for Port Blair in the eastern archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar. It was scheduled to...

PDP Must Avoid Going From Frying Pan To Fire – Bode George

A chieftain of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, said in Lagos on Thursday that appointing a credible person as national chairman of the party would determine the performance of the party in the 2019 presidential elections. George, who was a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, said that it was imperative for the national leadership of the party to appoint a credible person as its national chairman. He argued that appointing someone, who had no understanding...

You Shouldn’t Be Engaged For Any Longer Than 6 months, Wendy William Says

Wendy Williams doesn't think that Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney would never make it down the aisle because of their long engagement. The chat show host says reports that Gaga's went into acting had caused deep rifts with fiance Taylor that led to the split. She even went on to win a Golden Globe for her debut role and is set to return for its new season. Speaking on Thursday about the recent Radar report, Wendy said: “I...

New Music: 2Baba X M.I Abaga – “Babylon”

The moment we’ve been waiting for is here as; 2Baba and M.I Abaga unleash celestial chills with the new single dubbed Babylon. The duet, speaks on the current situation of life, the journey, the steps to follow; and also the most pondered about issue i.e; “Politics.” Like always, 2Baba aka 2face Idibia and M.I Abaga,...

Bayern Have Lost An ‘Important Player’ In Gotze – Alaba

The Austrian international insists his close friend, who recently rejoined Borussia Dortmund from the Bavarians, was “unlucky” to see his career stagnate due to injury trouble David Alaba insists Bayern Munich have lost an “important player” following Mario Gotze's decision to leave the Bundesliga champions to rejoin Borussia Dortmund. Gotze, 24, angered Dortmund fans when he left them in 2013 to join their German rivals Bayern but completed a move...

‘Do Not Support Any Moves To Impeach Pres. Buhari’- Bauchi Youths Warn Their Senators

Members of APC Vanguard, a Pro-Buhari group in Bauchi state have sent a warning to the three senators representing the state in the senate not to support any move geared towards impeaching President Buhari. The youths issued the warning in a letter signed by their chairman, Nura Zungur and delivered to the Bauchi state governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar at Government House this morning. The group in their letter warned that any of their senators who partakes in...

Bricklayer Jailed For Stealing Two Packets Of Maggi

A Lugbe Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, on Thursday sentenced a 30-year-old bricklayer Jeopardy John, to three months imprisonment for stealing two packets of Maggi cubes. John, had pleaded guilty to a three-count of criminal trespass, housebreaking and theft. “I am sorry for the act I committed and I am pleading with the court not to send me to jail. “It was hunger that made me to steal. For some time now I don’t...

Court Orders EFCC To Pay N5 Million Damages To Fayose’s Aide

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has granted bail to Abiodun Agbele, an aide to the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose. Mr. Agbele was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on July 1 on allegations of fraud. The EFCC said Mr. Agbele received huge public funds from a former defence minister, Musiliu Obanikoro, and delivered same to Mr. Fayose. The judge, Olukayode Fadeniyi, declared that the failure of the EFCC to...

Japan Warns Over Pokemon Go Pitfalls Ahead Of Launch

Japan isn’t taking any chances when it comes to the safety of impatient fans awaiting the release of Pokemon Go in the country where the cutesy monsters were born. Tokyo has issued a nine-point safety guide warning of dangers gamers could face, including heat stroke, online scams and dubious strangers. Japan’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) has also advised fans to download a weather app so Pokemon hunts don’t land...

Boko Haram Degraded, Victims Returning Home– Interior Minister

The Federal Government has stated that Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East has been degraded and routed out from their major enclaves while victims of their atrocities are returning home. The Interior Minister, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau made the disclosure at the Regional Seminar on Media Engagement in Crisis Management organised by the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. The Minister said: “The war in the North-East with the Boko Haram has been...

Video: Idris Elba – Panda Re-fix

Jimmy Fallon debuted a spanking new game with a little help from Idris Elba on last night’s episode of The Tonight Show. Dubbed Box of Microphones, this latest musical goof around involved. you guessed it — a box of microphones, with each mic having a different voice-altering effect. After each picking, a mic at random, Idris delivered a chipmunk cover of Desiigner’s “Panda”. while Jimmy...

Plateau Crisis: Soldiers Open Fire, One Killed

Soldiers serving with the Special Task Force on Jos crisis on Thursday opened fire on rampaging youth who blocked a road in Bokkos Local Government Area, in protest of the killing of a monarch and a night attack there Wednesday. At least one person was killed and five others injured, witnesses said. A witness, Mangai Haruna, said the youth refused to allow soldiers into the area, pressing them instead to produce the killers of their...

Sex Scandal: Reps Accuse US Ambassador Of Racial Bias

One of the three members of the House of Representatives accused of alleged sexual misconduct by the outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, yesterday accused the envoy of racial bias stating that the allegations are premeditated. Hon. Mark Gbillah who made the declaration yesterday while making his presentation at the investigative hearing on the allegations, insisted that he was wrongly accused and would do everything legally possible to clear his name. He...

Christians Betrayed, Insulted Me As CAN President- Oritsejafor

Past presi­dent of the Christian As­sociation of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, yes­terday, opened up on how he weathered the storm as leader of the apex Christian body in the country. He said Christians plot­ted against him and equally insulted him even when he put his life on the line for them. Oritsejafor said he took over the mantle of lead­ership at the most trying times in the country. “We came in a period...

Total Is New Sponsor Of CAF Competitions

Multi-national oil company, Total is the new title sponsor of the Africa’s foremost football event, the Africa Cup of Nations, according the Confederation of African football (CAF) has said. Total replaces telephone company Orange as the AFCON sponsors. The sponsorship agreement lasts eight years, africanFootball.com reports. The sponsorship also covers the women’s Nations Cup, U-17, U-20 and U-23 championships, the African Nations Championship (CHAN), CAF Champions League, Confederation Cup and Super Cup.

Osinbajo, Governors Meet Over Economy

The National Economic Council (NEC) met at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.  The meeting is being presided over by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.  Governors in attendance include those of Ogun, Kano, Akwa Ibom, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Abia, Katsina, Kogi, among others.  The meeting is expected to review the state of the economy. Credit: DailyTrust

Leave Oil Fields, Terminals Now, Niger Delta Avengers Warns Oil Workers

Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has warned oil workers and foreigners to vacate oil fields and terminals as it is ready to fight dirty. The militant group, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, specifically warned Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) workers as well as foreigners to leave oil fields and terminals because “it will be going to be very...