Headline NASS National News Nigeria

Reps consider legal backing for Whistle Blower Policy

The House of Representatives is considering giving legal backing to the Whistle-Blower policy by passing the Bill currently before the chamber, Speaker Femi Gbajabiyamila has said.

He was speaking at an investigative hearing on the alleged loss of over $2.4 billion in revenue from illegal crude oil sales. The hearing was organised by the House Ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the said revenue losses from the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil in 2015, including all crude oil exports and sales by Nigeria from 2014 till date.

Mr Gbajabiyamila said the legislation, when passed into law, will address mirage of issues associated with the implementation of the policy as well as take adequate care of the whistle-Blowers involved.

The Speaker, represented by the chairman house committee on ecological funds, Isyaka Ayokunle, described as “quite alarming” the dwindling revenue accruing to Nigeria from crude oil sales and whistleblower allegations that over $2.4 billion in possible revenue by the country was lost from the sale of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s crude oil cargoes in China,” he said.

The chairman of the Ad-hoc committee, Mark Gbilla, said the committee had summoned the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NEITI), oil and gas companies as well as the office of the Accountant General of the Federation to provide clarification on the allegations.

A federal commissioner, Code of Conduct Bureau Ehiozuwa James, complained about a similar investigation conducted by the house in 2016 which had yielded no “reasonable conclusion”. He urged the house to ensure a logical conclusion of the investigation.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade, Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor