Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has acknowledged the receipt of Mr. Femi Falana’s query letter sent to the minister’s office.
Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, had sent a letter to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources with a seven days ultimatum to account for alleged $60 billion oil revenue loss. The ultimatum was contained in an April 10 Freedom of Information (FoI) request addressed to Kachikwu.
The minister, through his Chief of Staff, Ms. Oge Modie, acknowledged Falana’s letter but did not supply the requested information neither did it promise to do so in future.
The letter with reference number MPR/COS/042/VOL.1/795, and signed by Modie, reads, “On behalf of the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kackikwu, this is to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated April 10, 2019, and received on April 11, 2019, on the above subject matter.”
Femi Falana noted that his request became necessary following Kachikwu’s admission, and that of the acting Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr. Shetima Bana, in separate public statements, in August 2017 and January 19, 2019, respectively, that Nigeria lost $60 billion to non-implementation of production-sharing contracts signed between international oil companies and the Federal Government.
He said, “In view of the foregoing, I am compelled to request you to furnish me with information on the revenue of $60 billion, which the federal government has refused to collect from the international oil companies; as at August 2017.
“Take notice that if you fail or refuse to accede to my request, I shall be compelled to apply to the Federal High Court, to direct you to avail me with the information on the loss of the oil revenue of $60 billion.”
Falana also recalled that he had written the minister while he was the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), wherein he informed him of the refusal of regulatory agencies in the ministry to enforce production-sharing contracts signed between the international oil companies and the federal government.
“In my letter November 5, 2015 letter addressed to you, in your capacity as the Group Managing Director of NNPC, I called your attention to the refusal of the regulatory agencies in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to enforce the production-sharing contracts signed with the international oil companies by the federal government,” Falana noted.