Nigeria owes oil joint venture partners $7bn – NAPIMS

*NNPC Towers.

*NNPC Towers.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

01 June 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Group General Manager of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Mr. Dafe Sejebor, yesterday disclosed that the agency was owing International Oil Companies (IOCs) involved in Joint Venture production about $7 billion.

Sejebor spoke at an investigative hearing conducted by the House of Representatives Committees on Petroleum (Upstream) and Public Procurement on the alleged $260 million “illegal” contract by NAPIMS, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

He said the contract in contention was for four single source projects in ExxonMobil’s Usan Deepwater at a total value of $260 million without any form of tendering process.

He said, “We’ve gone to arbitration and they’re trying to find a way of resolving them offline, and the Minister (of Petroleum) has stepped in to see how he can mitigate our exposure. We wrote to them (partners) to go renegotiate all services, whether on-going or the ones they’re about to put in place, that they should knock them down by 30 to 40 percent cost reduction.”

The NAPIMS boss said due to the huge debt, the agency was seeking alternative means to deal with the situation.

“In the last five years things really started going bad and we are really trying our very best to get them resolved off-line. In short we are at a cross-road because when we approached the IOCs they simply told us that except we operate a base case budget before they can continue with us,” he explained.

“And from my understanding of business, a case base budget is doing business without growth and we have to resort to cut cost on services to survive but some guys providing us services totally refused,” Sejebor added

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, while declaring the hearing open, noted that it had become pertinent for the House to spearhead the move for transparency in the oil and gas sector, especially in the area of contracts and agreements the Federal Government is involved in.

He noted that “Citizens have expressed concern that activities in the oil and gas sector are conducted in a way that is opaque. It is said that only a privileged few understand the processes in that sector.

“Part of the paradigm shift we have activated – and this would have greater relevance in the proposed framework for the petroleum industry – is to open up the oil and gas sector and make it more transparent and accountable to the people.”

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