NGO Links Swiss Traders to Nigeria Oil Scam

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Written by Makula Dunbar

Swiss NGO Berne Declaration, which specializes in equitable international finance relations, has called out Swiss commodity traders in connection to a Nigeria oil scam. According to Voice of America, Nigerian lawmakers have reacted and kicked off an investigation created to delve into fuel subsidy cuts and corruption amongst officials.

Swiss commodity traders, Berne Declaration offered, contribute greatly to Nigeria’s oil industry, and it’s likely that some of them were involved in the scam. Before slashed subsidies — which resulted in inflation and negative financial effects — were reinstated, the public was made aware of $6.8 billion that went missing. Stolen by officials, the lump sum had been designated for subsidy funding between 2009 and 2011, the report said.

“This is one of the main problems regarding the oil industry in Nigeria,” Marc Gueniat, senior researcher at Berne Declaration said in regards to muddled transparency.

“For instance [the Nigeria’s national petroleum company], (NNPC ) stopped publishing annual reports since 2005.  This is astonishing considering the importance this company has for the country…..Swiss traders are delivering petroleum products to Nigerian importers who have absolutely no kind of credibility business wise,” he said.

According to Gueniat, it’s not unlikely that Swiss traders make use of ties to oil industry officials and even relatives of officials. In contrast, Nigeria has made a solid effort to document and expose corruption of corporations and individuals involved in scams.

“They are completely free to do business with such people, with such companies according to Swiss laws.  And this is a problem for us,” Gueniat added, elaborating on the freedom and connections that Swiss traders sometimes take advantage of.

According to Sahara Reporters, Nigeria earned $100 billion in oil revenue last year. Much of the government’s national budget is linked to this financial stream. Nigerian lawmakers were quoted in the report saying they were “alarmed” at the notion of such a scam.

Stolen crude oil dollars ultimately result in the disturbance of financial flows which fund hospital operation as well as the building of roads and schools.