Swiss traders’ shenanigans on the buying of Nigeria and Africa’s crude oil without transparency and accountability
In Nigeria, Swiss companies bought oil worth $37 billion over the three years, an amount equal to more than 18 percent of the national government’s revenues. Payments of this scale that affect the development prospects of poor countries require public oversight, which has been largely missing in most of the scenarios described in this report. Transparency provides citizens with a tool to hold their government to account for the management of their country’s most valuable asset. To achieve transparency, we recommend the following: • Oil-producing governments and NOCs should adopt rules and practices that encourage integrity in the selection of buyers and determination of the selling price, including detailed public disclosures on how the state’s share of production is allocated and sold.
Switzerland should accept its responsibility as the world’s leading commodity trading hub and pass regulation that requires Swiss companies producing or trading in natural resources to disclose all payments made to governments and state-owned companies, including payments associated with trading activities. In a 25 June 2014 report, the Swiss federal government indicated a preference to exclude trading-related payments from future regulation of this kind. If that position holds, the payments described in this report would remain secret.
Click for full report : Big Spenders: Swiss trading companies, African oil and the risks of opacity