Global Witness, a campaign group says the Federal Government of Nigeria has lost an estimated sum of $6 billion from the ‘corrupt’ Malabu oil deal linked to Eni and Shell.
This is even as a Milan court is considering charges of corruption against Eni and Shell in the controversial OPL 245 deal of 2011 which deprived Nigeria of the equivalence of double its annual education and healthcare budget.
Eni and Shell are accused of having the foreknowledge that the money they paid to Nigeria would be used for bribes but the Italian and Anglo-Dutch energy giants have severally denied any wrongdoing.
The unfolding scandal playing out in the Italian court has involved former MI6 officers, officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), a former President of Nigeria as well as current and former senior executives at the two oil companies.
Global Witness, which has spent years investigating the deal which gave Shell and Eni the rights to explore OPL 245 an offshore oil field in the Niger Delta says the contract was altered in favour of the oil companies.
In its analysis, the group concluded that the Nigerian government would lose $5.86 billion over the lifetime of the project as compared to the terms that were in place before 2011.
The analysis, carried out by Resources for Development Consulting on behalf of Global Witness and other concerned Non-Government Organizations, estimated the losses by calculating an oil benchmark of $70 a barrel.
However, Eni has criticized the method used in the calculations, saying it ignored the possibility that Nigeria had the right to revise the deal to claim a 50% share of the production revenues.