20 December 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The Nigerian Senate says it will deal with oil firms that were indebted to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in terms of their statutory contributions to the commission.
Senator James Manager, chairman, Senate Committee on NDDC, sent out the warning after a report by the new Managing Director of NDDC, Christian Oboh, that some oil firms defaulted in their contributions.
Manager, after receiving a presentation by the NDDC chief, noted that the contributions by oil companies to the NDDC are statutory.
He noted that any breach of the provision of the law would attract sanctions.
Manager said the National Assembly would look into the issue to determine the level of indebtedness and ensure that its debts were recovered before the next budget.
He said: “We are going to ask questions. It is an Act of parliament and any breach attracts punishment.We must insist that the provisions of the law are adhered to. There must be a legal consequence.”
The committee also observed that besides the oil firms, the Federal Government is also in default of its financial commitment to the commission.
As a result, the committee resolved to approach the issue holistically by conducting a public hearing on the issue early next year.
In his presentation to the committee, the NDDC chief noted that the commission was yet to assess its share of the excess crude allocation with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Obo also expressed concern over contributions from oil companies to the commission.
The committee said 17 oil firms were expected to remit three per cent of their yearly budgets to NDDC as part of their contributions to the commission.
The companies include Addax, Agip Energy Nigeria, Agip Exploring Company, AMNI International company, Chevron Oil company, Dubri Oil, Esso Exploration Producing, Exxon Mobil, Moniputo Oil Company and Nigeria Agip Oil.
Others are Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Pan Ocean, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Producing, Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, Star Oil Nigerian Limited,, Taxaco Nigeria , Total Petroleum and Total Upstream.