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Published On: Wed, Oct 28th, 2020

Reps probe over N1.8bn oil terminal contract

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By Christiana Ekpa

The House of Representatives on Monday unveiled plans to investigate revenue accrued from sales of crude oil with the view to ensure accountability and prudency in the management of the country’s financial resources.
Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Woke Oke disclosed this during the investigtive hearing into the execution of over N1.8 billion oil terminal standardized calibracy and measurement contract.
Hon. Oke who acknowledged various concerns raised by Stakeholders in the industry, expressed the resolve of the Committee to ensure transparency in the entire process of payments for Oil Services companies in the country.
He further observed that while it was legitimate for service providers in whatever sector to be paid their fees, he frowned at back-door and unappropriated payments.
Hon. Oke maintained that payments made by Federal Ministry of Finance in conjunction with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), should be above board and in line with financial regulations.
Speaking earlier, Chief Executive Officer of Berge International Services, Mr. Basil Lot, explained that the company executed a standardized calibracy and measurement contract on particular oil terminals to ensure that the correct quantity of crude approved is what is taken out.
Mr. Lot disclosed that for the highly technical sevice provided the country between 2015 and 2017, the company received payment of N1,775,591,251, leaving a shortfall of N39 million from the total amount invoiced for the services.
He also explained that the payment was made from fees paid by importers of Nigeria’s crude oil into her escrow account without appropriation by the National Assembly.
While ruling, Hon. Oke, disclosed that the Committee will invite other service providers with the view to ascertain the extent of transparency in the payment of international contracts and if the same trend is established, those responsible would be brought to book.

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