$ 14 billion “badly spent” on development projects in Nigeria’s oil region

Nigeria has failed to adequately implement and deliver thousands of projects – funded with $ 14 billion – to support the social, economic and infrastructural development of the oil-rich but impoverished Niger Delta region, said Nigeria’s Attorney General Abubakar Malami.

Between 2001 and 2019, the government agency Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was commissioned to carry out projects that “offer a permanent solution to the socio-economic difficulties of the Niger Delta region and enable rapid and sustainable development of the Niger Delta” into an economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful region. “

The Niger Delta is the heart of the Nigerian oil industry and produces all of the onshore crude oil that pumps Africa’s largest producer and exporter. However, most of the people who live there are very poor and some resort to oil theft, which often leads to pipeline bursts, leaks and acts of God in crude oil production and exports.

Despite the fact that NDDC has been allocated $ 14 billion (6 trillion Nigerian naira) over two decades, 13,777 projects to improve the living conditions of people in the Niger Delta have been “significantly at risk,” Malami said, presenting a forensic review by NDDC .

“The federal government is particularly concerned about the colossal losses caused by uncompleted and unaudited development projects in the Niger Delta region, despite the enormous funds being made available to raise the standard of living of citizens,” said the attorney general Reuters.

Additionally, NDDC had up to 362 bank accounts and there was no proper account reconciliation, the forensic review found.

The results could lead to “the initiation of criminal investigations, prosecutions and recovery of funds improperly used for the public purposes for which they were intended,” Malami said.

Although oil from the Niger Delta generates a large part of Nigeria’s state revenue, the country has so far failed to improve the lives of people in its oil-rich region. According to OPEC estimates, the oil and gas industry accounts for about 10 percent of Nigeria’s GDP, while revenues from petroleum exports account for a massive 86 percent of total export revenues.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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