SERAP sues NNPCL for withholding oil revenue details

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has filed a lawsuit against the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited over what it described as “failure to disclose details of Nigeria’s daily oil production, exportation and the total amounts of revenues generated from oil since the removal of subsidy on petrol in May 2023.”

The suit followed an allegation made by a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido, that the NNPCL failed to remit enough foreign exchange into the treasury despite the removal of fuel subsidy.

SERAP, in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1719/2023 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeks “an order of mandamus to direct and compel the NNPC to disclose details of barrels of oil Nigeria produces and exports daily and the total amounts of revenues generated since the removal of subsidy on petrol.”

The group also seeks “an order of mandamus to compel the NNPC to disclose how much of the revenues generated from the production and exportation of oil have been remitted to the public treasury since the removal of subsidy on petrol” and “an order of mandamus to direct and compel the NNPC to disclose details of payment of 11 Trillion Naira made as subsidy payments from 1999 to May 2023, including a detailed breakdown of the payments made.”

In the suit, SERAP is arguing that: “There is a legitimate public interest in disclosing the information sought. The NNPC has a legal responsibility to disclose the details of Nigeria’s daily oil production, exportation and the revenues generated and remitted.”

The group argued further that“Nigerians have the right to know the amounts of barrels of oil the country produces and exports daily, the revenues generated and remitted to the public treasury.” Compelling the NNPC to disclose these details would promote transparency and accountability in the oil sector.”

It also stressed that “The failure by the NNPC to disclose the information sought is a grave violation of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”

(Punch)

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