NACCIMA to FG: Certificate of Origin Will Checkmate Oil Theft

Dike Onwuamaeze

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has advised the federal government to use Certificate of Origin (CoO) to fight the sale of stolen Nigerian crude oil in the international market.

The National President of NACCIMA, Mr. John Udeagbala, gave the advice during a quarterly press briefing where he asserted that the issuance of the CoO is the ultimate step Nigeria must take to address the theft of its crude oil inorder to increase its public revenues.  

He said: “If the oil export in Nigeria should be done in a way it is meant to be done there must be certification with the issuing of Certificate of Origin, which means that this oil is actually Nigerian oil. And no buyer can buy crude oil without this certificate. 

Udeagbala claimed that the right to issue the CoO should be domiciled with the NACCIMA, since it is the chambers of commerce all over the world that certified export products. 

“That is a possibility that is domiciled with chambers of commerce all over the world. We are trying now to engage the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to understand who issues this CoO to them. This is one step that we must follow to increase our revenues. So that when the oil pipeline is broken, those stealing the oil cannot go to anywhere to sell it. I want special attention to be paid to this,” he said.

He stated that government must take decisive action to increase its revenue in the face of rising public debt. 

“If the government cannot reduce its cost then it must increase its earnings. The new kid in town is crude oil stealing.  But, is it difficult to control crude oil theft? Government must have the political will. NACCIMA is the agency as it is the chambers of commerce all over the world, which issue what we call Certificate of Origin, which validates products from every country. 

“How is the NNPC) is managing to validate the country’s oil and where is it getting its own Certificate of Origin? Recall that when Sierra Leone was faced with the challenge of ‘blood diamond.’ There was certification and once it came into London market the whole stealing stopped,” Udeagbala stated.  

NACCIMA described the Certificate of Origin as an important international trade document that confirmed that “the goods in a particular shipment have been wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country.”  

NACCIMA also called for the privatisation of the country’s poorly run petrol refineries, insisting that the concept of turn around maintenance of refineries is peculiar to Nigeria and not obtainable in any other country. 

Similarly, the Second National Vice President of NACCIMA, Mr. Dele K. Oye, collaborated Udeagbala’s claim that turn around maintenance of refineries is nothing but a hoax.  

Oye said: “There is nothing like turn around anywhere in the world. It is only in Nigeria that we hear such words. When we went to Trinidad and Tobago we were told that there is nothing like that. Refineries are designed to run like airplane. Its parts have expiry dates and needed only to be changed on their due dates. There is nothing like turnaround.”

Oye said: “Burdening the private sector with taxes and levies drive away FDI. It does not make any economic sense to add more burden like the National Assembly is trying to do with the NYSC.  We as NACCIMA is saying no to this tax. NYSC is a laudable programme. But it should be government’s responsibility.”

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