Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has issued a compelling plea to Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, demanding the prompt disclosure of information regarding Nigeria’s oil production, exports, and revenue generated since the removal of petrol subsidies in May 2023.
In a letter dated December 9, 2023, signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization highlighted the urgent public interest in unveiling these details.
Speaking directly to Kyari, Oluwadare stated, “Transparency in disclosing the barrels of oil produced, exported daily, and the revenue accrued is vital to safeguard the public interest.”
SERAP’s demand extends to obtaining specifics about the alleged N11 trillion subsidy payment and clarifications regarding accusations of NNPC’s failure to remit oil-generated revenues to the public treasury since the subsidy removal.
Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, questioned NNPC’s financial practices, emphasizing, “Where is the money?” about the alleged discrepancies in revenue remittance post-subsidy removal.
The advocacy group underscored the detrimental effects of opacity in oil production and revenue disclosure, stating that this secrecy could lead to the misallocation of funds and a decline in public trust.
SERAP’s letter conveyed a stern ultimatum, setting a seven-day deadline for a response or action. Failure to comply could prompt legal action compelling NNPC’s adherence to transparency requirements.
Highlighting concerns over years of corruption allegations and mismanagement in the oil sector, SERAP emphasized the imperative role of transparency in NNPC’s operations. They asserted that ensuring accountability would benefit Nigerians by curbing corruption, improving access to essential services, and meeting human rights obligations.
Following Nigerian laws, SERAP invoked the Freedom of Information Act and constitutional provisions to stress NNPC’s obligation to disclose vital oil-related information. They also emphasized the duty imposed on the NNPC to foster transparency and accountability in oil production and revenue remittance to the public treasury.
The letter echoed the sentiments of citizens’ entitlement to information concerning public institutions’ activities, reiterating the necessity for NNPC’s compliance with transparency obligations.
However, SERAP’s call for transparency in Nigeria’s oil sector aims to bolster public confidence, combat corruption, and ensure equitable distribution of the country’s oil wealth for the benefit of all Nigerians.