• Something is smelling in Nigeria’s oil company and it is not something good at all- it is a $16 billion oil revenue loss that can be traced to corrupt officials.

    Nigeria’s auditor general said Monday (March 14) that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) failed to pay the government $16-billion in a suspected fraud.

    When President Muhammadu Buhari took over leadership in March 2015, he promised to crack down on corruption. The March 15 revelation is part of Buhari’s cleanup strategy in the Africa’s largest economy.

    Such corrupt deals have caused Nigerians not only electricity but also a surge in living costs, curtailing the growth of the nation.

    Oil returns accounts for 80 percent of Nigeria’s revenue. And as such, should be handled with diligence lest it further hurts the country’s economy. A few weeks ago, in a bid to reform the company, Ibe Kachikwu, NNPC Managing Director, said that the company will be split into 30 standalone units in the near future.

    Over the last decade, the company has been making losses, despite Nigeria’s massive earnings from oil exports. In a letter dated September 25 to President Goodluck Jonathan, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Lamido Sanusi noted that NNPC earned $65.3 billion from crude oil sales between January 2012 and July 2013 but only remitted 24 percent of this to the federation account and $49.8 billion was still outstanding.

    While the NNPC denied the allegations, the government decided to suspend the central bank governor.

    Even as Kachikwu tries his level best to reform NNPC, it is argued that what really need to be done is fight corruption, the root of all evil and scandals in the national corporation. 

    Image credit: Information Nigeria