Senate descends on Chevron, Shell, others over $62bn capital flight

  • indicts Banks for aiding illegal transfer

By Odunewu Segun

The Senate has expressed its resolve to descend on some International Oil Companies, IOCs, their affiliates in Nigeria and some commercial banks whom they accused of illegally transferring out of Nigeria a princely sum of $62, 90,716,417, National Daily has gathered.

National Daily gathered that IOCs like Nigeria Agip Company Ltd, Chevron Nigeria Limited, and Shell Petroleum Development Co. Nig. Ltd and their affiliates are all under investigation over the transfer which the Senate described as being suspicious.

The Senate, it was gathered, is particularly irked by the commercial banks, whom they alleged of colluding with the IOCs to transfer the money out of the country between August 2009 and December 2014 in a suspicious circumstances.

A member of the Senate Joint committee on Finance, Trade and Investment, Gas, Petroleum Upstream, Banking, Insurance and other financial Institutions, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, and Custom and Excise, Senator Yusuf Yusuf (Taraba State), said the banks are colluding with multinational oil companies to defraud the country. “The government relies on the banks, the banks are now colluding with the multi-national oil companies.”

“It is worrisome that money comes in today, tomorrow the same amount goes out of the country. The practice runs through statement of account submitted by the banks. The oil companies bring in $20 billion today, tomorrow $20 billion is taken out of the account.”

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According to him, the committee is interested in knowing why the same oil company that exports products, paid for it without indication of who actually bought the products and the corresponding bank.

In his remarks, Chairman of the joint committee, Senator John Enoh, noted that the committee was also interested in ensuring that banks were not colluding with IOCs to flout the laws of the country.

He said the committee would take a critical look at the submissions made by the banks to come to terms with the true position of oil and gas exports proceeds processes.

National Daily gathered that the affected banks were asked by the Senate to submit all copies of certified Nigeria Export Proceed, NXP, issued/or processed by them in respect of all crude oil and gas exported by Nigeria Agip Company Ltd, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Shell Petroleum Development Co. Nig. Ltd and their affiliates between April 1996 and December, 2016.

According to the document, the affected banks were also asked to produce all domiciliary accounts opened and /or closed within the period specified for all crude oil and gas exported.

Recall that some of the banks had appeared before the investigative joint committee, last Thursday, while other banks that have been identified with the export of oil and gas will also appear.

The Senate alleged that Nigerian Agip Oil Company recorded a total export inflow of $15,372, 882,703.36; Chevron Group, $44,020,596,289.99; and Shell group, $3,516,237,425.79, giving total of $62,909,716,417 billion.