The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the loss of over $21billion revenues to International Oil Companies (IOC) operating in the country.
The decision followed a motion moved by Sunday Kaltung (PDP, Kaduna) during plenary on Thursday.
While leading the debate on the motion, Mr. Kaltung explained that, “the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act of 1993 (PSC) was enacted in response to the problems posed by the joint venture arrangement as well as the desire of the federal Government to open up the sector to more foreign participation and further benefit the Nigerian economy.
He said that “the said PSC governs the understanding between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and all new participants in the new inland deep and ultra-deep water acreages by which the contractor bears all costs of exploration and production without much cost being reimbursable if no find is made.”
He noted that “the PSC also provided for the recovery of the cost of exploration of crude oil in the event of commercial find, with provisions made for tax oil, cost oil, and profit oil following which the balance, after these (3) deductions are made, is shared between the NNPC and the contractor in an agreed proportion,” adding that the “PSC was amended by deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment) act of 1999.”
The lawmaker however said that a revelation by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachiku, on the 13th December, 2017, while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting that “Nigeria lost about $21 billion (N7.6trillion) to International Oil Company (IOCs) operating in the country due to non-implementation of the PSC” is disheartening.
He also said that during the same briefing, Kachiku also stated that from 1993 up till date cumulatively, Nigeria had lost the colossal sum of $21Billion because of the Federal Government’s failure to act in the national interest.
According to him, in 2013, there was a notice to oil companies that government would take steps to correct the anomaly but eventually nothing was done, adding that “these act of negligence, omission, incompetency, if not outright collusion and conspiracy with a view, possibly to corruption have been perpetrated over such a long period of time when Nigeria has had well paid legal and technical experts in place.
“Anguished that this is a sad reminder of how the wealth of Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, derived from her God given natural resources ends up in foreign lands while her economy and lot of her citizens continue to dwindle as evidence by, amongst other things, her economic recession and pervasive and acute poverty in the country.
“These reckless incidents that have resulted in massive depletion of both our nation’s resources and the revenue accruing from them have gone on for far too long and that there is a need for this National Assembly to come to Nigeria’s rescue in interest of the common man and take adequate measures to bring them to a halt.”
The House therefore resolved to investigate the operation of the PSC as between the NNPC and the IOCs towards determining the reasons for the loss of the aforesaid $21billion; and determine why the appropriate steps were not taken in the first place or promptly taken over such an inordinately long period to remedy losses and the possibility of recovering the revenue lost.
The House also resolved to require the Minister of Petroleum Resources to provide details of financial transactions between the NNPC and the IOCs during the period when the losses were incurred; and called for a review the PSC of the joint operating agreement and other relevant agreements with a view to regularizing all the anomalies that led to the aforesaid loss of revenue.
$200m Scandal: Reps declines to reinstate contract of Atiku’s Intels
The House of Representatives on Tuesday rejected the recommendation of its committee that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) reinstates its contract with Intels, a logistics maritime operator.
The House said the company which reportedly made infractions on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the federal government, disrespected the legislature by shunning the probe instituted in 2017.
The committee chaired by the Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Pally Iriase (APC, Edo) had laid the report of its investigations on the 12th December 2018.
During consideration of the report today, it was found out that the committee, among others, recommended that “the notice of termination of contract agreement should be formally withdrawn since Intels Nigeria Limited have complied with the Federal Government Policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA).”
Other recommendations include: “that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and INTELS Nigeria Limited should sign the new Standard Operating Procedure in the Supplemental Agreement, which should be in the best interest of Nigeria;
“That a schedule for the repayment plan for the amortization policy should be proposed and signed by both parties within one month upon the adoption of this recommendation;
“That NPA should henceforth adhere strictly to the provisions of the Nigerian Ports Authority Act in the administration and management of its operations; and
“That the Ad-lzoc Committee and the Committee on Legislative Compliance should ensure strict implementation of the above recommendations.”
But speaking against the report, Mr. John Dyegh (APC, Benue) said Intels is owing the federal government over $200million and that executives of the company also failed to appear at the hearing. He therefore called for the rejection of the report.
He said: “Intel is owing the federal government $200million and we have not seen any evidence that they have paid the money, according to the report, everyone came for the public hearing, except Intels.
“You don’t have respect for the House, for the committee, but you want benefit from the House, I urge the House to reject this generous report.”
Also opposing the report, Sodiq Ibrahim (APC, Adamawa) said “the contract was terminated on the principle of not remitting $200million, and the committee is recommending that Nigeria should go back into agreement with them?
“I think the House should step down the report, and rework it, a pro Intel report.”
In his reaction to the contributions on the report, Mr. Iriase agreed that the report should be reworked adding that the House committee with legislative oversight over NPA should join his panel to conduct a holistic investigation into the relationship between NPA and Intels.
Recall that when the motion on the contract termination was moved in 2017 the debate was politicized as some PDP members viewed it as a political attack on Atiku. During today’s proceedings however the report was rejected unanimously.
2019 elections: Danjuma raises alarm over plots to rig polls
A former Minister of Defence Lt Gen Theophilus Danjuma on Tuesday raised the alarm over an alleged plot to rig next month’s general elections.
Danjuma made the allegation while inaugurating a medical laboratory at the Rufkatu Danjuma Maternity Hospital in his Takum hometown in Taraba State.
The former Chief of Army Staff also described democracy in the country as primitive.
He claimed there was a plan to cause unrest that would make some states ungovernable in order to manipulate the elections.
Danjuma warned the people of Taraba to protect their votes to prevent electoral fraud.
The retired general said, “We must work hard for peace in addition to just registering and obtaining our Permanent Voter Cards.
“There is no need to fight one another because they will use the police and soldiers to destabilise us and rig the elections.
“It is in our best interest to ensure there is peace. Those behind this plot know that they will not win elections if there is peace. I want to call on you not to sell your votes because you will be selling your birthright if you do so.”
Interior Minister, Dambazau blasts ex-IGP Idris
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, said the Nigeria Police Force did not get any major project from the Federal Government in the past three years because the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, did not relate well with his ministry.
He stated that the ministry had a cordial relationship with former IG Solomon Arase, but the situation changed when Idris took over.
The minister, who revealed this when the acting IG Mohammed Adamu paid him a courtesy call at his office in Abuja on Tuesday, commended the police boss for taking the right step to mend the strained relationship.
“I want to first congratulate you on this position you are elevated to and add my prayers that God grants you success. I also want to appreciate your coming here on a courtesy visit, recognising the significance of the Ministry of Interior in terms of its supervisory mandate to the police and other agencies including its mandate in terms of internal security and public safety,” the minister said.
“We are happy that you took this step because since early 2016, shortly after I came in as Minister in November 2015, I had a very cordial relationship with the then IGP, Solomon Arase, but when Arase left, there was the severance of relations between the police and the Ministry of Interior.
“It was not completely though because most of our dealings in terms of internal security and public safety were with the DIG Operations and because we must do everything possible to ensure that we not only carry our supervisory mandate in terms of policy but also to ensure that police as an institution does not suffer,” he noted.
Speaking further, the minister said: “We are indeed glad that you came in with an absolutely different idea regarding this relationship. Throughout three years, we have presented more than 25 memoranda to FEC that have to do with policies concerning the country, but none of them involved the police except few that came from Police Academy, Wudil.
“So, this is the kind of thing that we must be able to avoid because you need the parent ministry to represent you at the FEC. That related with us here. We need to work together with the kind of security challenges we are experiencing in this country as you mentioned. I will appreciate the idea and concept of community policing. There are so many things in terms of policy you can drive from here.
“Ours stop at making policies because the implementation is absolutely yours. We will not interfere in that area at all. We have capable and experienced hands in the ministry that can make lots of inputs, particularly in this democratic environment that you need this process. I want to reassure that this ministry will give you all the support you need to succeed.
“We will not pretend about it; there are security challenges in the country, but they must be tackled and we must put heads together to ensure we succeed in providing for Nigerians, the security they deserve. We do hope that this is just the beginning of our working together to ensure that you succeed,” he promised.
Speaking earlier, the acting IGP pleaded for forgiveness, promising that, having retraced their steps, they would not want to be left out of the activities of the ministry.
“It is really a privilege to be received today. Since my appointment as the new acting IGP, my thought was to first visit the Ministry of Interior which is the parent ministry where Nigeria Police belongs. I have not gone anywhere on courtesy call except this one and now that I have been here; I am now free to go to other places.
“We are aware of the fact that most of the policy issues concerning police operation come from the Ministry of Interior. We don’t want to be left out. We want to be deeply involved in the activities of the ministry. We want the minister to know that we are 100 per cent ready to participate in every activity of the ministry that involves security.
“We do have challenges involving security within the country. They are challenges that can be surmounted and we can easily overcome them with the full support of the parent ministry. If we were not participating in the past the way we should, we have now retraced our steps to return and do the needful for the benefit of the country and benefit of everybody. That is the reason for our coming,” he said.
In his entourage included seven deputy inspectors generals of police (DIGs) and an assistant inspector general of police among others.
NEWS1 day ago
BREAKING: Council of State approves N27,000 as new minimum wage
THE NATION7 hours ago
NITDA to Nigerians: Be careful when using Public Internet Access Services
NEWS10 hours ago
Interior Minister, Dambazau blasts ex-IGP Idris
NEWS3 days ago
Letter: Presidency fires back at Obasanjo, says he is a coward
NEWS10 hours ago
2019 elections: Danjuma raises alarm over plots to rig polls
BUSINESS10 hours ago
AMCON seeks buyers for Polaris Bank
NEWS2 days ago
Expulsion: I’m still Imo APC leader – Okorocha
BUSINESS9 hours ago
Fidelity Bank doles out N16m to 13 customers