House of Representatives adhoc committee probing $21 billion debts owed indigenous companies by International Oil Companies, IOCs, and revenue leakages, yesterday, invited Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and chief executive officers of all oil companies operating in Nigeria.
Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Daniel Reyenieju, PDP, Warri Federal Constituency) who gave update on the workings of the committee at the National Assembly, expressed worry over the failure of relevant regulatory agencies to take necessary action to recover the debts from the OICs.
He explained that the special committee was mandated to investigate two resolutions of the House reached on January 18 and 25, 2018, respectively. He said: “The Ad-hoc committee is to investigate the operations of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contractors Act, PSC, as it concerns the NNPC and IOCs, towards determining the reasons for the loss of $21 billion; enquire why appropriate steps were not taken promptly and the long period it took to remedy the situation, which led to the loss and possibly recover the revenue lost. “Accordingly, the House requires Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to provide it with details of financial transactions between NPDC and IOCs during the period. “Review the PSC, the Joint Operating Agreement and other relevant agreements, with a view to regularising all the anomalies that might have led to the loss of revenue; investigate the huge debts being owed local companies and indigenous contractors by international oil and gas companies, with a view to ensuring that such debts are recovered and paid promptly.” “In addition, the House on Thursday, July 19, 2018, mandated the Ad-hoc Committee to further investigate the processes of Marginal Oil Fields acquisition; the financial proceeds from successful bids, remittance and non-remittance of revenues by the licensed operators into the Federation Account; the operations of licensed marginal fields operators; and the strategic alliance agreements between IOCs, investors and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company in the operations of divested oil and gas interest and marginal fields.’’ The Ad-hoc Committee urged on all IOCs, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to furnish the House with records and all related documents in respect of the processes that transpired in the acquisition of marginal oil fields and the financial proceeds from the bids;
details of operations of licensed marginal fields operators, the status of the strategic alliance with investors and local companies being owed, to furnish the committee with details of their respective transactions or contracts. While reading the riot act to the regulatory agencies which failed to respond to previous invitations, Reyenieju threatened that the Ad-hoc Committee would be left with no option than to uphold the petitions before it, if they failed to submit relevant documents on or before August 17, 2018. According to him, the Ad-hoc Committee’s move is aimed at reaching their consciousness and to let them know that the National Assembly, as an arm of government, carries out checks and balances on government agencies and governmental affairs.