FG loses N7.6trn to faulty oil sector agreements

The Federal Government has lost $21 billion (about N7.6trn) to faulty agreements with international oil companies from 1993 to 2017.

Addressing State House reporters after the cabinet meeting yesterday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said the loss was due to failure to act on the provision of Section 15 of the Production Sharing Contracts of the Deep Offshore Act.

The Act stipulates that once the price of crude exceeds $20 per barrel, steps would be taken to distribute “premium element” at an agreed premium level for the Federal Government for higher revenue. This was not the case over the last 20 years.

The minister said the Federal Executive Council, therefore, approved a proposal to amend the Act in order to increase oil revenue by $2 billion.

He said he would work with the Attorney-General of the Federation on the proposed amendment.

“In 2013, there was a notice to oil companies that we were going to do this but we didn’t follow through in terms of going to council to get approval. One of the things we’ve worked on very hard over the last 20 years is to get that amendment because once we do, the net effect for us is close to $2 billion extra revenue for the federation,” the minister said.

On why government continued maintaining refineries rather than establish new ones, Kachikwu said they could be fixed, stressing this would require about $2bn from private sector players.