The Nigeria Extractive Industries & Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said Nigeria could not account for about N70tn it generated from petroleum between 1999 and 2014. The period covers the time of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’dua and Goodluck Jonathan, all Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The country equally lost over $200bn it should have earned through exportation and sale of mineral deposits from across the country. Waziri Adio, the executive secretary of NEITI disclosed this when Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs paid him a visit.
According to Adio, it was “unfortunate and unthinkable” that despite the huge earnings recorded from crude oil sales over the years, the country had failed to account for at least $100bn in the Excess Crude Account.
He continued, “Let me inform the committee that we discovered that between 1999 and 2014, the country spent over N70tn it received from oil and gas alone. That is a whole lot of money. And what is sad is that it was spent without the country being able to show anything for it. I think it is quite unfortunate.
“For the sake of emphasis, however, I think if previous administrations had developed a culture for prudent management of resources, Nigeria ought to have over $100bn saved in the Excess Crude Account. So, going forward, it is necessary for government to think about saving a lot more and do all it can as well to cut down on wasteful spending if the nation must make progress.”
He therefore urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to imbibe savings culture that would lead to drastic slash on government spending if the country must move forward.