The National Petroleum Investment Services which is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, has revealed its annual financial statement saying the department has spent a minimum of ninety (N90) billion on public relations in the year 2021.
According to the audit report revealed, the department spent N89,928,429,000 on media relations in 2021 which represents an increase of 335 per cent against the N20.69 billion spent in 2020.
The report further revealed in details that the department spent N11.76 billion on consultancy, N2.22 billion on transportation, traveling cost, N65 million and N1.1 billion on advertisements and entertainment, respectively, in the year under review.
Spending this much money on public relations could be considered expensive in a country where over 95.9 million people live in extreme poverty as a result of high unemployment and overstretching of inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure.
It is however not the first time such a large sum has been spent on a less important component of the organisation.
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Dataphtye previously reported that NNPC spent N13 billion on entertainment expenses between 2020 and 2021.
NNPC in 2021, spent the sum of N11.831 billion on entertainment, while in 2020 it spent N1.636 billion.
This spending comes amid the country’s continued struggle to garner revenue from the oil sector which has largely been drained by oil theft, with a recent revelation that the country was losing the majority of its oil earnings to organized theft.
The discovery of an illegal connection line into the sea from one of NNPC’s major oil export terminals that had functioned completely unnoticed for nine years, was also recently reported.
Oil theft is estimated to cost Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil exporter, 600,000 barrels per day in lost revenue, with oil companies idling some fields rather than supply pipelines used by thieves.