The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has commenced investigations on former President Joyce Banda in relation to US$1.2 million royalties Malawi earned from Nigerian crude oil deal and the proceeds from Presidential jet sale, Malawi Punch can reveal.
Top ACB officials have confirmed to this publication that a docket has been opened on the oil deal and Presidential jet sale, and investigations are currently underway.
The investigations, Malawi Punch understands, are as a result of complaints by the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) to the authorities through its executive director John Kapito.
Malawi in 2013, under Banda’s reign, earned US$1,256.081.70 as royalties from crude oil deal it signed with Nigerian government in May 2012. The oil deal was initiated by Banda’s predecessor late Bingu wa Mutharika.
Banda’s administration also battered-off controversial Presidential jet to offset a $19 million debt owed to Paramount Group.
According to information, the crude oil sale agreement spanned from May 1st, 2012 to April 30th, 2013, and the royalties were transferred into National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma)
Foreign Currency Dominated account for crude (Afcda) maintained at National Bank of Malawi.
Government was forced to contract Nocma to service the deal as an agent since it was unable to secure US$120 million required to purchase the crude oil.
Under the government-to-government deal, Nigeria agreed to supply Malawi with crude oil through the NNPC and allowed Malawi to either process or sell the crude, thus-as a buyer-after paying upfront $2.5 million (then over K1 billion) before making first uplift of the oil.
The contract gave Malawi approval to buy and sell 30 000 barrels per day of crude oil made up of several grades as specified in the lifting schedule for each month. This means that, effectively, the country was at liberty to buy and sell over half a million barrels a month.
The crude oil deal was signed by President Banda who pushed for the contract, first initiated by late Mutharika in his attempts to solve chronic fuel shortages that rocked the country under his administration.
In November 2012, Petroleos De Geneve SA Limited (PDG) managing director Raymond Anyiam-Osigwe told Malawi’s daily that Lilongwe was getting US0.4 cents in royalties per barrel, which he said totaled $760 000 (over K300 million) by then.
He said Malawi had uplifted 903, 691 barrels in August 2012 and 997, 416 in the second phase in October last year, which is nearly two million barrels.
The Dassault Falcon 900EX Presidential jet bought in 2009 cost Malawi almost $22 million, a move that angered western donors who claimed that the jet was partly bought using donor funds aimed at uplifting the impoverished citizenry.