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Poverty And Ownership of Nigeria?s Richest Oil Blocks


Written by Obinna Akukwe

The richest oil blocks in Nigeria is owned by a few hundredsof persons while half of 160 million Nigerians live below S1 dollar daily. This injustice and wickedness must be corrected by whosoever wins the elections -whether Buhari, Jonathan, Interim Government, Boko Haram or civilian revolution.
oilWhen I wrote the report titled ?HowBabangida, Abacha, Abdulsalami, Obasanjo Shared Nigeria?s Oil Blocks? inApril 2012, which was later rephrased as ?20Owners of Richest Oil Blocks in Nigeria ? Ihad thought that the uproar and public condemnation that followed the reportboth nationally and internationally willprecipitate an administrative investigation into the manner of the awards to sift the transparent deals which passed due diligence from those awarded after some bedroom performances. It is unfortunate that President Jonathan failed to revoke these illegal licenses to few criminals during his first tenure. Instead some more blocks
and contracts were given another set of criminals under his watch. Had he taken such actions, the fear of defeat in the pols would have been non-existent because Nigerians from all tribes and faith enslaved by this bondage would have risen in his defense. It is not yet late for Jonathan, Buhari, Interim Government or even Boko Haram which soever succeeds in May 29th to revisit the disturbing sharing of Nigeria?s Oil Blocks to a few persons without recourse to transparency and put it back into the hands of thepeople.Those who proved they obtained theirs transparently should not be victimized under any circumstances.

Below again are the 30 Facts about the Fraudulent Sharing ofNigeria?s Oil Blocks and those involved (1)The process of sharing Nigeria?s oil block national cakeis as fraudulent now as when Ibrahim Babangida started the process ofdiscretionary allocation of oil blocks to indigenous firms. Discretionaryallocation of oil blocks entails that a president can reward a mistress whoperforms wonderfully with an oil block with capacity for cumulative yield ofover $20 billion dollars without recourse to any process outside of manhoodattachments. Babangida, Abacha, Abdulsalami and Obasanjo awarded discretionaryoil blocks to friends, associates, family members, party chieftains, securitychiefs and all categories of bootlickers, spokespersons and cult memberswithout any laid down procedures. (2)The recipients of such oil blocks will get funds fromever willing offshore financiers and partners to graciously settle thebenefactors, the awarders, facilitators and the
Commander-in-Chief throughfronts. These settlements mostly paid into foreign accounts runs into hundredsof millions of dollars according to the potential yield of the block.Sometimes, the awarder (sharer of national cake and direct intermediaries)demand additional stakes in the bidding company. The awarder sends fronts aspart of the directorship and management of the bidding firms without leaving alink to them. That is how the oil block national cake is distributed to a fewNigerians. (3) Signature bonuses which are paid when an investorsuccessfully bids, wins and signs agreement with the petroleum ministry,running into tens of millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of naira ,isoften waived off. There is actually no waiver; rather a diversion of what wouldhave been paid to government coffers is paid into private purse as appreciationgifts. That is why those in the Petroleum Ministry dread retirement as thoughit signifies going to hell fire. No
matter how little your influence, somethingsubstantial must enter your hands especially in hard currency. The nation losesbillions of dollars in diverted revenue whenever any round of auction occurs. Some of these oil field has the capacity of between 300,000-500,000 barrels of oil daily.

(4) OML 110 OBE given by Sanni Abacha in 1996 to Alhaji MaiDaribe under Cavendish Petroleum had estimated over 500 million barrels of oil.In layman?s language and using average benchmark of$100 dollars per barrel, translates to $50 billion dollars?worth of oil reserve. This means that$20billion dollars? worth of oil in the hands of a family or $170 million dollars?worth of oil daily. (5) OPL 246 was awarded to SAPETRO, a company owned byGeneral Theophilus Danjuma, by Sanni Abacha in 1998. Akpo condensate exportsabout 300,000 barrels of crude daily. (6) OML 112 and OML 117 were awarded to AMNI InternationalPetroleum Development Company owned by Colonel Sanni Bello in 1999. Sanni Bellois an in-law to Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State of Nigeria. (7) OML 115, OLDWOK Field and EBOK field was awarded toAlhaji Mohammed Indimi from Niger State. Indimi is an inlaw to former MilitaryPresident Ibrahim Babangida. (8) OML 215 is operated by Nor
East Petroleum Limited ownedby Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo. (9) OML 108 is operated by Express Petroleum Company Limitedis owned by Alhaji Aminu Dantata. Obasanjo , with the help of Andy Uba, awardedOPL 2008 to Tenoil Petroleum & OilServices owned by Tony Elumelu and Jim Ovia (10) OPL 2009 and 2010 were awarded to Global Energy Groupowned by Chief Suleiman Onabiyi and Joseph Obiago . That is why a lot of majorplayers in the oil industry owes Obasanjo and Andy Uba a lot. (11) OML II3 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Pet Ltd is owned byAlhaji W.I. folawiyo. Asuopku/Umuntu (Egbema marginal oil fields) was awarded to Platform Petroleum in 2003 byObasanjo.(12) In 2010 PlatformPetroleum (owned by Edmund Daukoru,a Bayelsa prince and Lulu Briggs amongothers) and Seplat ( owned by PrinceNasiru Ado Bayero, cousin to the Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi) teamed upin landmark partnership to manage the venture. (13) Intel owned by Atiku, Yar?adua and Ado
Bayero hassubstantial stakes in Nigeria?s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria andPrincipe and Sao Tome. AMNI owns two oil blocks OML 112 and OML 117 which itruns Afren plc and Vitol has substantial stakes in oil blocks.

(14) OML 112 is estimated to have 130 million barrels of oilvalued with the current price of $100 dollars per barrel at S13 billion dollarswith 25 year lease.
(15) Afren plc isoperating EBOK oil fields in OML 67. Vitol lifts 300,000 barrels of Nigerianoil daily. Rilwanu Lukman, former OPEC Chairman has stakes in all these namedthree companies. (16) OPL 245 was awarded to Malabu Oil& Gas Company bySanni Abacha. Dan Etete, Abacha?s oil minister owns Malabu Oil. In 2000, VicePresident Atiku Abubakar convinced Obasanjo to revoke OPL 245 given to MalabuOil. Etete had earlier rejected Atiku?s demand for substantial stakes in thehigh yield

(17) OPL 245 and it attracted the venom of Ota Majesty whorevoked the licence. However, in 2006, Obasanjo had mercy on Dan Etete and gavehim back his oil block worth over $20billion dollars. (18) OPL 289 and OPL 233 was awarded during Obasanjo era toPeter Odili fronts, Cleanwater Consortium, consisting of Clenwater Refinery andRivGas Petroleum and Gas Company. Odili?s brother in law, Okey Ezenwa managesthe consortium as Vice Chairman. (19) OPL 286 is managed by Focus Energy in partnership withBG Group, a British oil concern. Andy Uba has stakes in Focus Energy and hismodus operandi is such that you can never see his name in any listings yet hecontrols OPL and OML through proxies. (20) OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy NigeriaLimited, owned by Emeka Offor by Obasanjo . Immediately after the award,Starcrest sold the oil block to Addax Petroleum Development Company Limited(ADDAX) Addax paid Sir Emeka Offor a farming fee of $35million dollars
andstill paid the signature bonus to the government. Emeka Offor still retainsstake in ADDAX operations in Nigeria.

(21) Mike Adenuga?s Conoil is the oldestindigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria. Conoil has six oil blocks andexports above 200,000 barrels of crude daily. (22) The oil block national cake sharing fiesta could taketwists according to the mood of the Commander-in ?Chief at the particular time.In 2006, Obasanjo revoked OPL 246 which Abacha gave to Danjuma because herefused to support the tenure elongation bid of the Ota Majesty.

(23) In 2000, Obasanjo had earlier revoked OPL 241 given toDan Etete under the advice Atiku. However, when the Obasanjo-Atiku face offstarted, the Ota Majesty made a u-turn and handed back the oil block to Etete. (24) During the time of Late President Yar?adua , a panelheaded by Olusegun Ogunjana was set up to investigate the level of transparencyin the award of oil blocks. The panel recommended that 25 oil blocks awarded bythe Obasanjo be revoked because the manner they were obtained failed to meetthe best practices in the industry. Sadiq Mahmood, permanent secretary in theMinistry of Petroleum endorsed the report to then president with all itsrecommendations. As a result of the report Yarádua revoked eleven oil blocks. (25) In April 2011 Mike Adenuga attempted to buy Shell?s OML30 for $1.2 billion dollars. The Minister for Petroleum and Nigeria?s mostpowerful woman refused the sale of the OML30 to Adenuga citing nationalinterest. This block
was sold to Heritage Oil for $800 million dollars elevenmonths later. (26) This oil block business is so lucrative that Danjuma?sSapetro divested of its investment in Akpo condensate for $1billion dollars. (27) This business is second to none in Nigeria. That is whyany attempt to investigate the activities in this sector will always be futile.The money is so much that they give bribes in millions of dollars. A birthdaygift or child naming gift from an oil block owner to a government officialcould be as paltry as $2million dollars, and if the official?s father died, thecondolence gift could reach mere $3 million dollars. When they want to bribelegislators, it is in millions of dollars and any ongoing investigation endswithin weeks. They are so confident that with excess money they can buy upNigeria and they are succeeding. (28) In the name of competitive bidding, which Obasanjointroduced in 2005, officials bring companies overnight and through
processesbest described as secretive and voodooist, awards blocks to party faithful, fronts and phoneycompanies. They collect gratifications running into hundreds of millions ofdollars which is paid into offshore account and the nation loses billions ofdollars of revenue to private pockets.
(29) During the thirdterm agenda, Obasanjo was deceived that the allocation of oil block to partyfaithfuls is to fund the third term agenda. With the failure of the third term,the beneficiaries went home with their fortunes and thanked God or Allah forbuttering their bread. Senator Andy Uba coordinated the award of the lastrounds of oil blocks by Obasanjo in 2005 and 2007. The then minister ofpetroleum, Edwin Daukoru was a mere errand boy who took instructions from thepresidential aide. (30) The regime of President Goodluck is not showing anysigns of changing the status quo. Controversies have trailed the activities ofthe Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Madueke and many players in the Industryaccuse her of demanding stakes from every oil deal. Diezani Madueke had alsosoiled herself in different oil deals and also awarded oil contracts to fictitiouscompanies.

It is hoped that President Goodluck Jonathan willremember his transformational promise to Nigerians and endeavor to face thehawks in the oil industry. The angst in the air is so much that if this monsterof illegal allocation of oil block is not addressed, the much touted revolutioncould begin all of a sudden and all who condoned this illegality at the expenseof hungry Nigerians may have nowhere to hide.
With the rot in this oil block awarding system and otherloot all over the Nigerian nation, something worse than revolution may happen. (This article was first published in April2012)

Obinna Akukwe is the Director General, Igbo Mandate Congress(IMC)profetobinna2@yahoo.com….@ObinnaAkukwe….facebook.com/pages/ObinnaAkukwe

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