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NASS directs committees to drill seven IOCs over none remittance of over $21bn

The Nigerian Senate Wednesday, charged three key committees to review the activities of seven international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria over their official silence and refusal to remit about $21 billion to the national treasury.

The resolution followed a motion of urgent national importance moved by new entrant lawmaker from Anambra State and Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.

In his background to the motion, he informed the Red Chambers that the IOCs (names with held) allegedly refusal to honour key provisions of the Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) Act.

He made it clear that the prevailing Act of the National Assembly upon which the PSC derives its life clearly regulates the sharing of additional revenue between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the various oil companies.

He made reference to the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act Cap D3 LFN 2004 (PSC Act) became effective on January 1, 1993.

Though he agreed that the Act ought to have been reviewed after 15 years, he told other lawmakers that the Federal Government had lost about $21 billion over a period of 20 years.

Recall that the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe kachukwu after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council on the 14th December 2017, had informed that none review of the Act is providing leeway for some IOCs to drain the economy.

Senator Ubah, who called for thorough investigation on the reasons, relied upon by the IOCs to delay the payments which runs contrary to the provisions of the PSC Act, noted that beyond the crude oil price of $20, the share of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the additional revenue was adjusted to the extent that the PSCs shall be economically beneficial to the FG in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

In his ruling, the Senate President, accordingly mandated all relevant three Committees of the Red Chambers to do the needful by coming up with workable report in few weeks time.