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[OPINION] Stolen $20 billion or $ 90 billion dollars – Additional Financial Mathematics

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There is a financial mathematical inclination to believe that about $90 billion dollars have been missing under NNPC since the inception of Jonathan administration than the $ 20 billion dollars as revealed by the sacked Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido.
According to Sanusi Lamido when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance in February 2014,“as far as the Central Bank is concerned, the most important point to establish is that there is a difference of $20 billion between what NNPC shipped and what it repatriated”.
According to the Managing Director of Shell Group, Mr Mutiu Sumonu , $ 5 billion dollars is stolen annually by oil bunkerers. Speaking at the Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Up-Stream) and Navy in 2012, Sumonu said that “The scale of crude oil theft now is more than what the oil companies can handle. It is extremely pervasive now. If you over-fly the whole of our operational areas in the Niger Delta, you will see canoes, barges and illegal refineries all over the place…”The country is losing about 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the equivalent of $5 billion per annum. Imagine what that amount of money could do to our economy if we chose to put it into the power sector”.
According to the Chairman House ad-hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft, Bashir Adamu, $5 billion dollars is annually stolen by oil thieves. Speaking during the inauguration of the Committee in 2013, Bashir disclosed that “The oil and gas industry accounts for about two-thirds of government revenue and more than 90 per cent of export earnings in Nigeria. “Illegal bunkering has caused Nigeria to lose an estimated $5 billion (N780 billion) yearly, amounting to $400 billion since Nigeria’s independence”
According to the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, Nigeria lost $11 billion dollars to crude oil theft in 2013 alone. While disclosing this at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja in March 2014, Yakubu said that “in 2013 alone, the country lost 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd). By implication, computing these figures at an average price of $100 per barrel, it would result in a total loss of $10,950,000,000 (300,000 x $100 per barrel x 365 days= $10,950,000,000) in 2013 alone”.
According to the Comptroller General of Customs, Mr Dikko Inde, the nation lost N603.8 billion naira ($4 billion dollars) to waivers in 9 months, out of which N263 billion naira was for petroleum products. Speaking when he appeared before the Joint Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriation in 2013, The Customs boss said that “of the N603.8 billion, N263.8 billion was lost to waiver granted on importation of petroleum products.”
According to a report by a Swiss based non-governmental advocacy group titled “Swiss Traders Opaque Deals in Nigeria,” the Berne Declaration, that outlined how the NNPC, in connivance with two Swiss oil trading companies- Vitol and Trafigura, drained Nigeria of over $6.8 billion in subsidy payments through shady deals involving lifting of crude oil at prices far below what obtained in the open market. This revelation sparked off outrage in Nigeria’s Senate in November 2013 but the lawmakers have probably forgiven the offenders.
In 2012, following the exposition of another $ 1 billion dollars Malabu Oil Scam where funds were wired into the private accounts of some friends of government, the embarrassed Nigeria Senate mandated its Committee on Upstream and Finance to investigate everything about the Malabu/ OPL 245 deal.
According to Hon Farouk Lawan ad-hoc Committee on Subsidy report, N1.2 trillion ($ 6.8 billion dollars) was overpayments in subsidy which they asked the indicted companies to refund to the government coffers. The Committee had reported that contrary to earlier figures from various official sources, subsidy payment of N2.59 trillion had been made as at 31st December, 2011, an amount more than 900 percent over the appropriated sum of N245 billion.” In addition, there are “outstanding claims by NNPC and the marketers in excess of N270 billion as subsidy payments for 2011.” The Committee, in its report, established that “NNPC was found not to be accountable to anybody or authority”. Based on these findings, the committee recommended among others that, “ii. The freezing of the accounts and recovery of all illegal payments made to the Petroleum marketing firms, the NNPC, PPPRA and others which, according to the House Committee, amount to N1.2 trn or $6.8bn”
Therefore, for the purposes of this mathematical analysis, we shall use the period Goodluck Jonathan became the substantive President of Nigeria, which is May 2010 till when Sanusi revealed the missing $20 billion dollars, a total of forty five (45 months). The second calculation will be based on the period Jonathan became president in 2010 till May 2015, when Jonathan’s first tenure would have expired, which is sixty (60 months). Though the NNPC had agreed that under their watch, $ 11 billion dollars was stolen in 2013 alone, we shall still use the conservative figure of $ 5 billion dollars annually to calculate the oil theft. The use of least average in cost computations is applied.
Therefore, in Jonathan’s 45 month period as President of Nigeria, there is a probability that the stated sums might have missed under the watch of NNPC and other agencies
1 $20 billion dollars missing in 18 months =$1.1 billion monthly x 45 months =$49.5 billion dollars
2 $5 billion dollars lost annually to oil thieves =$0.41 billion monthly x 45 months =$18.5 billion dollars
3 $1.5 billion dollars (N263 billion naira) lost to suspicious waiver on petroleum products in 9 months=$0.16 billion monthly x 45 months =$7.2 billon dollars
4 Subsidy Scam of 2011=$ 6.8 billion dollars
5 Swiss-NNPC Oil Scam of 2013=$ 6.8 billion dollars
6 Malabu Oil Scam of 2011=$1 billion dollar Total probable missing/ stolen or unremitted Oil funds in 45 months =89.8 billion dollars
Going further, In Jonathan’s 60 month period ending May 29, 2015, there is a probability that the sums stated below might have totally missed if he fails to tackle corruption within NNPC
1 $20 billion dollars missing in 18 months =$1.1 billion monthly x 60 months =$ 66 billion dollars
2 $5 billion dollars lost annually to oil thieves =$0.41 billion monthly x 60 months=$ 25 billion dollars
3 $1.5 billion dollars (N263 billion naira) lost to suspicious waiver on petroleum products in 9 months=$0.16 billion monthly x 60 months= $ 9.6billion dollars
4 Subsidy Scam of 2011=$ 6.8 billion dollars
5 Swiss-NNPC Oil Scam of 2013=$ 6.8 billion dollars
6 Malabu Oil Scam of 2011=$1 billion dollars
Total probable missing/ stolen or unremitted Oil funds in 60 months = 115.2 billion dollars.
Therefore, with additional sums of either 89.8 billion dollars stolen, missing, unremitted, diverted , waiver-ed off between May 2010 when the incumbent took over and February 2014 when the CBN chief was sacked, and a probability that further loss cumulating to $115.2 billion dollars would probably have been stolen by May 29, 2015 the nation is already in financial mess.
In an earlier piece first published in April 2012 and titled, ‘How Babangida, Abacha, Obasanjo shared Nigeria’s Oil Blocks’, I had opined that “Discretionary allocation of oil blocks entails that a president can reward a mistress who performs wonderfully with an oil block with capacity for cumulative yield of over $20 billion dollars without recourse to any process outside of manhood attachments”.
I also added in the report that “Signature bonuses which are paid when an investor successfully bids, wins and signs agreement with the petroleum ministry, running into tens of millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of naira, is often waived off. There is actually no waiver; rather a diversion of what would have been paid to government t coffers is paid into private purse as appreciation gifts. THAT IS WHY THOSE IN THE PETROLEUM MINISTRY DREAD RETIREMENT AS THOUGH IT SIGNIFIES GOING TO HELL FIRE . No matter how little your influence, something substantial must enter your hands especially in hard currency. The nation loses billions of dollars in diverted revenue whenever any round of auction occurs”.
The volume of corruption as recently revealed by state agencies had shown that what was contained in that report was a mere tip of the iceberg. NNPC has proven worse than Boko Haram because the fraud within it had sent millions of Nigerians to early grave due to poverty, diseases, armed robbery, and ritual killings. I therefore, advise President Jonathan to urgently declare a State of Emergency in NNPC bearing in mind that additional financial mathematics shows a probable theft of $ 90 billion dollars might have occurred therein.

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Opinion

Who Will Explain Coronavirus To Buhari?

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Coronavirus (COVID-19), an exorable doom, threatens life on the planet. It is exorable because it is conquerable. This explains why world leaders are taking the charge to combat this ominous apocalypse. It is a time for leadership from the fore-end; a time when citizens must hear their leaders speak to them; see them take action, making assurances and fulfilling those promises. The counsel, consolation and firm statement of a leader is imperative at this moment.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau, prime minister, despite being in self-isolation and his wife battling the virus after contracting it at a conference in the UK, is leading the fight against this dreaded disease from the fore. He is providing regular updates of the efforts of his government to roll back this scourge, listening and speaking to citizens.

In a popular broadcast on March 13, Justin spoke to citizens of Canada announcing measures to relieve the financial stress brought on by the pandemic on Canadians.

“We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they’re going to be able to buy groceries, or care for their kids or elderly family members. We need to make sure that Canadians have the options and the ability to follow the best public health advice and keep themselves safe,” he said.

In the UK, Boris Johnson, prime minister, leads the struggle against coronavirus. He provides updates, alongside health experts, on the measures his government is taking to tackle the spread of the disease. And in the US, Donald Trump is not shying away from speaking to Americans on the virus.

As a matter of fact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lapses are often easily dismissed by his supporters or by Nigerians who do not know better. Some of them say, ‘’ Why must the president speak when the minister of health and the NCDC DG are already doing that?” This is a contemptible rationalisation of incompetence. Are they suggesting the president lacks the capacitance to understand the issues?’’

Really, I surmise the president has been walled off the ‘’candid cameras’’ over the years by his handlers – not just now – because he lacks the intellectual propensity to understand and discuss incisive issues. The last presidential media chat he held was in 2015 and it was a woeful outing. Also, his non-choreographed media interviews have been abysmal to say the least.

The truth is the unfiltered Buhari is a vacuously gaffing one. On October 14, 2016, standing beside Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Buhari said his wife, Aisha, ‘’belonged in the kitchen and the other room’’, when he was asked to comment on the first lady’s criticism of his government.

On April 18, 2018, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, the president said the young citizens of the country he leads are lazy.

“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the forum.

In a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Buhari dropped another clanger. He said the young citizens of his country have a knack for criminality and should not be granted asylum in the UK.

With the Buhari experience, it is indubitable that Nigerians must place a high premium on education — not just certificate – in choosing their leaders. The cost of electing leaders who do not have the intellectual grit to understand and handle matters is far too high.

The senate has asked the president to speak to citizens on this threat, and Nigerians are also asking the president to speak to them. This is an abnormality. Citizens must not beg to hear from their president. But because it is Buhari involved here, we have to beg and even excuse the crass inefficiency and vacuity.

Perhaps, the president is still trying to get a hang of it. I think he has ‘’capable handlers’’ who can break it down to him in ABC.

Mr President, speak to your citizens. The words of a leader are more resounding and assuring than the blandishment of proxies.

PS: Let’s follow all health protocol as advised by the NCDC.

• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.

• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.

• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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Opinion

Sanusi: Once Upon An Emir, By Wole Olaoye

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We are all potential Ex-es: ex-student, ex-director, ex-lecturer, ex-senator, ex-governor, ex-president, ex-oba, ex-emir…. The inimitable Zik famously reminded us when he had a spat with Ukpabi Asika that Ex was an inevitable prefix for any human being as was evidenced by the fact that a certain young man who would someday become an ex-Administrator, was the son of an ex-postmaster!

So, what’s so apocalyptic about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi joining the ranks of ex-potentates? Nothing? Everything! Don’t ever think that bell you are hearing is tolling for the former Emir of Kano. No. It could be signalling the beginning of a comprehensive demystification of traditional rulership by plebeians holding tenured political power. In centuries past, no plebeian messed with the traditional institution. The halo of nobility, the sheer vastness of a prince’s hereditary powers, rights and privileges, made the subject know his place.

Yesterday’s subjects are today’s political sovereign. They make no pretences to sophistication. They load a gun to kill a spider. When you dethrone a monarch and then deprive him of his liberty, forcefully banishing him to a place without electricity and potable water, you are playing god. If it was all a public relations Olympics, the calm dignity with which Sanusi handled the humiliation made people all over the world admire his chutzpa and hand him the gold medal. A

Life and its many puzzles! Why is it that for some men and women, “their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall”? What do you do about an ego that knows no satiation? As the Preacher in the Good Book timelessly says, “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing… there is nothing new under the sun”.

The Yoruba have a poem that says just that. “The horse struts and frets and then dies. Being a veteran walker is no immunity to getting lost. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen kings reduced to slaves; and servants who mounted the throne. Haven’t my eyes beheld both river and sea? Haven’t I seen a hunchback on spindly legs, and a midget climbing a ladder to add condiment to the soup pot? Tell me, has anyone ever started a building from the roof?

The new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a cousin of his predecessor. As royal intrigues go, when the dust is settled the sword will be sheathed and brother will embrace brother. That is the way of princes. Eventually, outsiders will realise that all they can ever be in palace politics is outsiders. Our very own Nobel prize winning Kongi was not amused by the scandalous extra-judicial detention of the former emir.

He put the emir’s travail down to his progressive stance: “Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution…. “Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping….

The doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.” Support for Sanusi is not limited to radical voices.

Veteran technocrat Alhaji Ahmed Joda penned a panegyric in support of the ex-emir: “The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences  of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth….”

It is easy to kick a man given a pin-fall by fate, or piss on the grave of a fallen warrior. Dead men don’t bite. Real friends show up when you are in life’s valley. Say what you will, I would rather have a friend like Nasir el Rufai when the chips are down. In the midst of all the turmoil, conspiracy theories have surfaced to the effect that the dethronement is but a political sleight-of-hand to propel Sanusi to Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Caution! Let’s separate the issues. Political succession is totally different from fundamental human rights. Sanusi is not my next president.

My views on power rotation are well documented. The ex-emir will go down in history as a champion for the rights of the poorest of the poor. He advocated for a new Northern Nigeria where old backward practices such as the almajiri system and irresponsible parenting will be abandoned. His was the voice crying out in the desert, lift my people up from the cesspit of penury. The attempt to demonise him after dethronement through various allegations, including one on religious fundamentalism, is dead on arrival. The same fate will befall the vilification of El Rufai on account of his loyalty to Sanusi. Please quote me: Modern challenges can never be resolved with a resort to medieval solutions.

Christopher Hitchens’ Q&A may someday apply to the ex-Kings College boy who’s now an ex-king.

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Opinion

Sanusi Dethronement: The North Only Beheads The Bearers Of Truth

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By Fredrick Nwabufo

Northern Nigeria is prostrate. It is the axis of uglies – banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, diseases, ignorance, and drug abuse. Alas! The region’s elite are aware of the problems, but look away because the disequilibrious status quo sustains them. What is petrifying, however, is that they maul and clobber at anyone who spits the truth in their faces.

I think, this is the mortal sin of Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano – beyond his politics with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano.

But wait!

The World Bank says 87 percent of Nigeria’s poor are in the north. And that while poverty is plummeting in the south, it is rocketing in the upper region.

READ: Dethroned Sanusi Will Be Under House Arrest – Ganduje’s Aide

“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,’’ the Bretton Woods institution said in its report entitled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ in February 2020.

In August, 2019, the federal government revealed that 1,460 people were killed by bandits in seven months. And that the north-west is the worst-hit by this bloody enterprise. The killings have steadied, expanding in proportion and execution in the region.

In his accustomed manner, Sanusi recently vocalised these depressing figures of retrogression in the north – as regards the World Bank report — earning himself praise from progressive Nigerians and reprimand from the usual suspects — those stuck in the cesspit of bigotry.

Also, the gadfly emir of Kano, whom I regard as the John the Baptist of the north for his vociferous condemnation of this status quo, is alone in his advocacy against irresponsible polygamy, Al-majiri and child marriage – practices the northern elite espouse. He is the face of a progressive north; the northerner of the new age.

As a matter of fact, on different occasions he had complained about the northern elite whom he said wanted to silence him for speaking the truth about the region.

‘’Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the north-east and north-west of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat; the noise has yet to die down. The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls,’’ he said at a lecture held to commemorate the Chibok girls abduction.

READ: Sanusi Breaks Silence After Dethronement As Emir Of Kano (Video)

And I guess they can only take the throne away from him but cannot take away his royalty in the community of decent humans. Really, I believe the emir would rather give up his throne than be gagged by the shareholders of iniquity.

To say the least, Sanusi’s dethroning was not unexpected. Ganduje had always shown his hand in this plot. Really, the emir of Kano never hid his dislike for him. But what is there to like about a governor who was allegedly caught on camera stuffing wads of dollars into his babariga? In the build-up to the 2019 governorship election in the state, the emir was not shy in expressing his disapproval to Ganduje’s candidature.

So, Ganduje, who considers Sanusi a ‘’loud mouth’’, plotted a bitter revenge after he was re-elected. He had moved to remove the emir in 2018 but for the intervention of some ‘’higher powers’’. However, he whittle-down the power of the emir by creating new emirates from his domain. He was not done though. He rustled-up allegations, set up probe panels – all in the desperation to embarrass Sanusi.

But Sanusi was still talking.

Really, one of the most abrasive places to exist is in the circle of non-progressives. You talk different, think different or act different, they will feel threatened. Even when you try to clown around; the aboriginal clowns will still feel threatened because you do not look the part.

I think, Emir Sanusi is light-years away from the people he is dealing with in Kano government. He is needed more at the top echelon of government where he can contribute more meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.

Northern Nigeria is not ready for an emir like Sanusi. He is ahead of his time.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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