Berne Declaration report re oil trading & Nigeria - company responses & non-responses
In a November 2013 report, "Swiss traders’ opaque deals in Nigeria", Berne Declaration contrasted the great oil wealth and strong recent economic growth in Nigeria, with the lack of development, including low levels of education and health, in Nigeria. It said, "Oil, which makes up 58% of State income, is clearly not contributing to the development of this country as much as it could and above all as much as it should." The report raises concerns about sales by Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) to oil traders based in Switzerland at below-market rates, and deals between Swiss trading firms and Nigerian individuals and companies suspected or accused of corruption. The report accuses Swiss trading firms of "misappropriation of [Nigerian] import subsidies" for refined oil products (petrol, kerosene, etc.) and alleges that certain Swiss firms provide "a haven for Nigerian fraudsters".
The report concludes that the theft and waste of billions of dollars in oil revenues in Nigeria, and the "inequalities whose exceptional violence is quite visible in Nigeria, are made possible by the complexity and opacity that characterise the petroleum industry, whether it be production, trading or distribution." Its recommendations include greater transparency by Swiss firms and their commercial partners in Nigeria.
- full report: "Swiss traders’ opaque deals in Nigeria" [PDF], Berne Declaration, Nov 2013
- [français] communiqué de presse : "Les affaires obscures des négociants suisses au Nigeria", Déclaration de Berne, 4 nov 2013
- [Deutsch] Pressemitteilung: "Dunkle Geschäfte, dreckige Gewinne: Schweizer Rohstoffhändler in Nigeria", Erklärung von Bern, 4 Nov 2013
- media coverage: "Swiss and Nigerian Firms Indicted in Fuel Import Fraud", Ejiofor Alike, This Day (Nigeria), 8 Nov 2013
We invited the principal firms named in the report to respond to the report's allegations.
- New: Mercuria Energy response [DOC], 28 Jan 2014
- MRS Group response [PDF], 10 Jan 2014
- Ontario Oil & Gas did not respond
- Rahamaniyya Group did not respond
- Sahara Energy response [DOC], 10 Jan 2014
- Trafigura response [DOC], 17 Jan 2014
- Vitol response [DOC], 20 Jan 2014
Mezcor & Tridax Energy responded in the media: "Tridax, Mezcor Debunk Claims in Swiss Report", Ejiofor Alike, This Day (Nigeria), 15 Nov 2013
The report also refers to Aiteo Energy (which has been dissolved), Gunvor and other companies.