Following complaints by the Federal Government that the nation’s crude account is full of discrepancies, a veteran licensed customs agent, Mr. Olusegun Ologbese, has said the supervision of the crude oil account fund should be handed to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Ologbese, who is also the managing director and CEO of Ogbese Marine Services Limited said his call was based on the fact that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has not been able to tell Nigerians how much it generates from crude oil over the years.
According to him, it is unfortunate that stealing of Nigeria crude oil from the high seas has become alarming. This development, noted, cannot happen without the connivance of the NNPC staff.
While advocating the transfer of supervision of crude oil account to NCS, Ologbese said the depleting of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) which shrunk to $5.1 billion following the withdrawal of N115 billion from it to augment revenue shortfall for the July Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursements to the federal, states and local governments were unacceptable.
“Right from the inception NCS, it has been transparent and consistent in generating huge amount of money to the Federal Government purse”, Ologbese said.
He lamented that despite the huge quantity of crude oil Nigeria is exporting on daily basis, it is very sad that the country is till wallowing in abject financial mess because of lack of accountability on the part of those saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the crude sales is properly accounted for.
Giving insight on the choice of NCS, Ologbese said he was impressed with high rate of capacity at which the customs is operating couple with huge amount of revenue it generates for the government in recent times which is really helping our developmental projects all over the country.
He said the huge amount being spent on petroleum marketers is unacceptable.
He suggested that the government should go back to its previous ways of monitoring the products that leaves the shore of the country through the involvement of the NCS.
According to him, in the past, NCS used to monitor all imports and exports of product.
THISDAY had reported that the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Lawan Ngama had attributed the fall in revenue to continuous theft of crude oil, leakages, pipeline vandalism at various terminals, HP compressor failure and repair works.
He argued that the NIMASA/Navy Joint Task Force will help in reducing the impact of pirates on oil shipment in our water ways, if NCS could be drafted to rescue the theft of our oil revenue and other related products which the NNPC has not been able to give accounts all these years.