By Rafiu Ajakaye
LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – At least $5.6 billion in oil revenues accruable to the Nigerian government in 2013 were either "not made or lost", an audit report by the country's Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative revealed on Monday.
The audit said one sum of $3.8 billion and another of $1.8 billion in "outstanding revenues" from the country's National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were not remitted in 2013 alone.
The NNPC is responsible for the management of Nigeria's oil and gas assets, the major foreign exchange earners for Africa's biggest economy.
According to the audit – which was presented in the capital Abuja by Minister of Mineral Resources and NEITI chairman Kayode Fayemi – :"These outstanding payments were due from unpaid consideration from the divested OMLs [oil mining leases], cash call refunds from NAPIMS [National Petroleum Investment Management Services], and NPDC [Nigerian Petroleum Development Company] liftings from NAOC JV (Nigerian Agip Oil Company Joint Venture), etc."
The audit also listed other oil-revenue losses to the country, including another $5.9bn and $103.5m due to offshore processing agreements, crude swap and crude theft, among others.
Another $599.8m was also lost in form of "under-assessments/under-payments of petroleum profit taxes and royalties by oil and gas companies as a result of the use of different pricing methodology by the government and the companies because of the absence of a new fiscal regime", according to the report.
It is not immediately clear if the President Muhammadu Buhari administration will question oil corporations over these losses.
Buhari has repeatedly identified corporations as a major drainpipe for the country, although efforts are underway by his government to reform the corruption-ridden oil sector.