By Musa Adamu
The National Assembly through its joint committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has summoned 17 oil companies over N72b and $273m indebted to NDDC respectively.
Chairman of the joint committee, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP Delta North), issued this summon at the end of interactive session with top officials of NDDC, Central Bank of Nigeria and Union Bank Plc.
Some of the Oil companies involved in the alleged indebtedness due to non remittance of 3% of their budgets, are Shebah Express Petroleum, Atlas Petroleum, Allied Energy, Frontier Oil, Seven Energy Limited, Belema Oil Producing Limited, AITECO Exploration and Production, Dubri Oil, Conoil Producing, Continental Oil and Gas.
Others are Enageed Resources Limited , New Cross Exploration and Production, Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited, Nigeria Petroleum Development Resources. Munipulo Petroleum Development Company, Prime Exploration and Production Company and Nigeria LNG Limited.
Nwaoboshi explained that the companies are invited to explain to lawmakers why they are not obeying the law as regards remitting 3% of their budgets to NDDC.
“We have invited all oil companies indebted to NDDC to come and tell us why they will not obey the law of the country. Some of them have confirmed that they are owing NDDC”, he said.
Specifically, he added that NPDC owes N54billion as at when the last calculation was done, Allied is owing $43million; Pan Ocean owes $46million.
He also revealed that federal government owes NDDC over N1 trillion.
Nwaoboshi who expressed dissatisfaction with the failure of oil companies to pay NDDC said that the Senate made efforts in the last session to ensure prompt payment of money meant for NDDC.
He accused the oil companies of not disclosing their real budgets, saying most oil companies tampered with their annual budgets.
He added that in digging out the rot in the Industry, forensic auditing, directed by President Muhammadu Buhari will be applied.
He said, “We welcome forensic audit of NDDC, Eighth Senate did technical audit and our findings were very appalling, we are going to carry out full audit of the agency’s financial transaction again “.
The Committee, he added , discovered money meant for NDDC in the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA)’s account , which he said was wrongly credited and CBN already , directed to reroute the money back into into the NDDC’s account.