From Christiana Ekpa Abuja
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu and other Chief Executive Officers of all oil companies operating in the country are expected to appear before the Ad-hoc Committee investigating the huge debts owed indigenous companies by International Oil Companies (IOCs) over loss of $21 billion
The Ad-hoc equally threatens to take decisive actions against the minister and the other operating officers if they fail to honor this last invitation to them.
Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee Daniel Reyenieju, who gave update on the workings of the Ad-hoc committee at the National Assembly yesterday, expressed concerns over the failure of relevant regulatory agencies to take necessary actions toward recovering the debts from the OICs.
He noted that the Ad-hoc Committee was mandated to investigate two resolutions of the House, on Thursday, 18th and 25th January, 2018, respectively.
“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 over an inordinately long period, to remedy the situation which led to the loss and possibly recover the revenue lost.
“Accordingly, the House requires the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to provide it with details of financial transactions between the NPC and IOCs during the period.
“Review the PSC, the Joint Operating Agreement and other relevant agreements, with a view to regularizing all the anomalies that might have led to the loss of revenue.
‘’The committee is Investigating 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, 19th July, 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,” Reyenieju said.
To this end, the Ad-hoc Committee beckoned 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.
According to him, the Ad-hoc Committee’s move was 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.”