EFCC Recovers N13bn Petrol Subsidy Scam
Nigeria’s foremost anti-graft agency, EFCC has recovered N13bn illegal fuel subsidy payment Between 2017 and 2021, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission recovered approximately N13 billion as the profits of unlawful payments made under the subsidy system. This was based on a paper received by our reporter from the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit’s website, titled National inherent risk assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing in the Nigerian extractive industry. “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the agency responsible for the investigation and prosecution of fraudulent subsidies in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, recovered N12,998,963,178.29 as proceeds of illegal payments made under the subsidy regime between 2017 and 2021,” according to the report. A tabular breakdown revealed that roughly N4.67 billion was recovered in 2017, N4.29 billion in 2018, N2.41 billion in 2019, N416.51 million in 2020, and N1.22 billion in 2021. The research also said that there were several potential for fraudulent actions in the oil and gas sector. “Opportunities for fraudulent actions abound in the oil and gas sector, from extraction through sales of refined goods to consumers,” according to the research. The lack of dependable technology to quantify the volume of crude oil extracted makes estimating the volume of crude oil extracted and even stolen through oil theft and vandalism difficult. Oil theft also happens in the downstream sector, as fuel pumps at gas stations are manipulated or contaminated. “It should also be mentioned that the selling of petroleum goods on the ‘black market’ has resulted in petroleum products being offered at outrageous rates. The rising habit of fueling station workers acting as money agents without proper consumer due diligence is cause for worry. However, it should be noted that in most circumstances, the amount sold to a person is not questionable. However, if uncontrolled, this conduct might endanger the country.” It further stated that petroleum products had been diverted to non-designated retail outlets, which is a fraudulent conduct that takes advantage of the fuel subsidy scheme.