In a move to address concerns over the transparency of Nigeria’s oil sector, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on Mele Kolo Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), to promptly reveal comprehensive details of the country’s daily oil production, exports, and the total revenues generated since the removal of the petrol subsidy in May 2023.
SERAP’s Urgent Call for Transparency
SERAP has urged Mr. Kyari to disclose the percentage of oil revenues remitted to the public treasury post-subsidy removal, as well as provide clarification on the alleged failure to remit oil-generated revenues. Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, recently raised concerns about the NNPCL’s foreign exchange contributions to the treasury after the subsidy removal, prompting a critical question: “Where is the money?”
Legal Action on the Horizon
In a strongly worded letter, SERAP emphasized that the public interest in disclosing this information surpasses any reasons for withholding it. They have given a seven-day ultimatum for compliance, warning of legal action should the NNPCL fail to respond or publish the requested details.
Undermined Trust and Implications
Expressing serious concerns over years of corruption allegations and mismanagement within the oil sector, SERAP highlighted the erosion of public trust in the NNPCL. The organization contends that transparency and accountability in the company’s operations are imperative for Nigerians to fully benefit from the nation’s natural wealth and resources.
International Commitments Emphasized
Citing Nigeria’s legal commitments under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, SERAP stressed the obligation to ensure transparent and accountable management of public resources. The organization insisted that the NNPCL adhere to these commitments, emphasizing the importance of citizens’ right to information without interference.
Constitutional and Legal Basis
Referring to constitutional provisions, the Freedom of Information Act, and international charters, SERAP asserted its entitlement to request and access information related to oil production and revenues. The organization argued that such disclosures are essential for the public interest, human rights, social justice, good governance, transparency, and accountability.
Allegations of Non-Disclosure
Highlighting allegations that the NNPCL has failed to disclose crucial information about oil production, exports, and revenues, SERAP underscored the legal responsibilities of the company to uphold transparency and accountability standards. The NNPLC, according to SERAP, must disclose details of the alleged N11 trillion subsidy payment.
As the seven-day deadline approaches, all eyes are on the NNPCL to see how it responds to these significant transparency demands amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the removal of the petrol subsidy.