The House of Representatives has constituted an ad-hoc committee to investigate the divestments of some oil blocks in the Niger Delta region by International Oil Companies (IOCs).
The House yesterday at plenary presided over the Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha announced that the committee will be chaired by Rep Aminu Suleiman (APC, Kano), while members of the committee are Rep Babatunde Adejare (APC, Lagos), Isma’il Ahmed Gadaka (APC, Yobe), Binta Bello Maigari (PDP, Gombe), Irona Gerald Alphonsus (PDP, Imo) and Emeyese Akpodiogaga (PDP, Delta).
It could be recalled that the House had, on May 27, passed a resolution to verify the alleged sale of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 and other OMLs by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), among others.
The resolution was passed following a motion by Rep Alphonsus, who had argued that in the last two years, Shell and other oil majors have sold oil blocks worth over $5 billion.
He noted in effect that item 12 (1) of the First Schedule of the Petroleum Act stipulates that 10 years after a grant of an OML, one and half of the area of the lease shall be relinquished to the federal government.
He said further that “OML 29 has been in the custody of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for more than 52 years and one-half of the area of the lease has not been relinquished to the federal government as stipulated by the act.”