‘We have record of crude production volume’- DPR boss
The absence of crude production statistics mainly by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was however faulted penultimate week by the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Mordecai Baba Ladan, who claimed DPR as an arm of the Ministry of Petroleum has up to date daily crude production records, and challenged those peddling such speculations to desist.
The DPR disclosed that it is committed to the Federal Government policy on ending gas flaring and raising the country’s oil reserve by as much as 40 billion barrels by 2020; while it is upbeat on its critical role to ensure that operators get accurate and comprehensive quarterly and annual reconciliation of all revenue instruments and that the remittances of all fiscal payments due to the government is made.
The DPR boss who made the assertion during a One Day Conference on ‘The Danger of Revenue Leakage to the Nigerian Economy’ organized by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON), at Rockview Hotel, Apapa Lagos, specifically faulted inferences to NEITI report on the matter, even as he said that “NEITI reports are not as straight forward.”
Ladan who was represented at the event by Mr. Kingston Chikwendu, Head of Legal Services of DPR declared that his agency does not rely on the IOCs to generate its daily production and export data, explaining that where the traditional metering method failed, it reverts to flow stations, because according to him “crude measuring is dynamic and dynamic metering does not fail because there is always a backup measure through tank dipping”.
The agency helmsman explained that there are meters at every flow station, even as he noted that the right place to carry out accurate metering of crude exports is at the flow stations. He enjoined stakeholders are Nigerians in general not to swallow hook, line and sinker every report they receive on crude cargo but should go the extra mile to verify. According to him, “people need to be educated that there is measurement of our crude exports and production, there is no reason for us to rely on Joint Venture partners to be able to carry out our statutory duty.”
Ladan who presented a paper with the theme ‘How DPR Regulations and Compliance Level is Preventing Losses in the Nation’s Oil and Gas Industry’ said its operations built on three pillars of Policy Implementation, Enforcement of Petroleum Laws and Regulations, and Revenue Generation, ensures that the industry is sufficiently covered under DPR radar and that this duty obliges stakeholders to participate under the agency’s safe frame work that supervises and mitigate specific and general revenue loses; adding: “DPR’s strategy of enhanced regulation through the deployment of technology and modern working tools has led to increased efficiency and reduction of loses for the nation in the oil and gas industry.”
According to Ladan, the DPR safe frame work provides a wide array of expert technical and non-technical advice to the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Federal Government on essential industry policy direction and their implementations, enforces all extant industry laws pursuant to the Petroleum Act, the Oil Pipelines Act, Oil Terminals Act among others, and also collects relevant revenues, fees and taxes on behalf of the FGN both in the downstream, midstream and offshore fields.
The Chairman, House Committee on Anti-corruption, Prince Olabanji Akinloye, who doubled as chairman of the occasion expressed disappointment that a rich oil country like Nigeria is unable to provide basic amenities of life for its citizenry, while the masses poverty line keeps widening by the day. Blaming leadership failure for the enduring corruption and revenue leakages in the national economy, he said a country that rank as the number oil producing nation in Africa has no business with poverty. He said unless and until the political leadership steer the ship of state out of the embarrassing poverty line, everybody will remain a suspect to the crime and allegation of corruption.
He said, “As a ranking lawmaker who have served in several committees and following development in these two most critical areas of our national economy, I am convinced that Nigeria’s effort at economic diversification needs strong support from these sectors, if we must break through.
“In addition to our viable maritime, oil and gas sectors, we have vast agricultural potentials and millions of productive workforce that can improve on our Gross Domestic product (GDP) of USD405.10billion. Just last year Nigeria took over from Angola as Africa’s number one oil producer; hence I cannot reconcile the facts of our present poverty. We all need to sit up and develop the mutual resolve to close the leakages and shortly cut down on corruption before it kills us.”
In his presentation, the Acting Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Dr. Musa Abubakar observed that seven million Nigerians are living below poverty line amid our maritime, oil and gas potentials, which he worry is exposed to acts of corruption which has over the years also depleted its profitability and reduced its capacity to be able to drive up the economic, infrastructural and social contract.
Lamenting the perceived dip in generating accurate statistical data in the maritime, oil and gas sectors, he said Saudi Arabia is thick and running with high GDP and enviable standard of living for its citizens because the country has a commission that efficiently and transparently captures every drop of oil that is produced and exported. According to the Commission chairman, study it carried out has shown that corruption is so deep that as much as 90percent of government entire contract sum goes back to government officials, leaving just 10percent contract fund to execute such contract.
Emphasizing the endemic nature of corruption in our society, and how the system has been taken prisoner, Abubakar said that between 1985 and 2000, no single case of corruption was prosecuted in any Nigerian superior court of jurisdiction, as an indication of the intricate corrupt web the Nigerian society has been caught.
Speaking through the agency’s Deputy Commissioner Legal Department, Mr. Adenekan Shogunle, Abubakar enjoined stakeholders to subscribe to anti-corruption crusade as the only avenue to eliminate revenue leakages, which in turn will lead to national growth through responsible industry behaviour.
The ICPC boss said the commission has adopted a system approach that can prevent people from cutting corners by addressing the root cause of citizens’ tendency for corruption. He said to help break the circle of corruption, the commission developed a Fraud Triangle model with a graphic detail of Opportunity at the top of the pyramid, which propels individual enticements if workers are exposed to horizontal reaction in the face of Pressure and which also leads to Rationalization as natural defenses.
He said that since leakages is driven by corruption, there is need for Nigerians to change their orientation about the elements of corruption which he identified as acts of bribery tailored in its multi-cultural dimension such as ejunje in Yoruba land, na kashim mia in Bauchi, at all at all n aim be witch in South South, South East etc. He advised government not to subject its workforce to acts of pressure, which can easily trigger the corrupt tendencies. To achieve deterrence, Abubakar advocated better condition of service and responsible wage obligation in a timely manner, top of which government must ensure that citizens and workers are not put under pressure as such pressure would always make workers take advantage of their official position (opportunity) to seek gratifications, bribes and kickbacks, and resort to rationalization, when caught.
Dahiru said, “As I am talking to you now, our legal adviser need to be posted from the Ministry of Justice and in this zone alone for the year 2018, we have no less than 76 case files that has to do with import and export related offences.”
However, the National President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero has identified the absence of efficient inspection regime by the Nigeria Customs Service as the bane of criminal imports that has also led to document falsifications, wrong classification and duty evasion. Amiwero also said low incentives for fiscal revenue collection, lack of operational modern infrastructure, lack of functional cargo scanners are additional causes of revenue leakages. He said the solution is the genuine implementation of the WCO legal frame work as a guide to international trade, the enthronement of inspection regime, provision of cargo scanners, improved customs wage and motivation, amongst others.