19 November 2012

Nigeria: Stop FG's U.S.$7.9 Billion Foreign Loan Request, Falana Petitions Senate

A Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has called on the National Assembly to direct President Goodluck Jonathan to stop the about to be taken $7.9 billion foreign loan. Instead, he urged the government to recover billions of dollars the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and a number of oil companies failed to remit to the Federation Account.

In a letter dated November 15, 2012, Falana addressed to the Senate President, Senator David Mark, he reminded the National of Assembly that the refusal of NNPC and the oil companies to remit huge amount of money to the federation account violated section 162 of the 1999 constitution.

Falana said that the National Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) alone which is an agency of the Federal Government has established that "a total recoverable amount due to the Federation Account, during a 10 year period, 1999 - 2008, was over $8.856 billion."

He said that following the popular protest by Nigerians against the removal of fuel subsidy in January 2012, Jonathan made good his promise by setting up four different committees to investigate the allegations of fraud in the oil and gas sector.

The reports submitted to the Government by the said Committees have confirmed fraud of monumental proportions.

Such findings have since been substantially corroborated by the reports of the House of Representatives, the Accountant General of the Federation and the KPMG Professional Service commissioned by the Federal Government.

"In particular, the House of Representatives Committee on the management of the Fuel Subsidy Fund found that "contrary to the earlier official figure of N1.3 trillion, the Accountant -General of the Federation put forward a figure of N1.6 trillion, the CBN N1.7 trillion while the Committee established subsidy payment of N2, 587.087 trillion as at December 31, 2011 amounting to more than 900 percent over the appropriated sum of N245 Billion.

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