Port Harcourt — The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has raised the alarm over the coercion of oil multinationals to pay the three percent levy due to the Commission, to a private account in the United Kingdom, by a security agency.
The Commission, although, did not give the name of the security agency involved, said the law which set up NDDC does not provide for the collection of its revenue by any agency other than the Commission.
NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr Charles Odili, warned that any oil firm that has made any payments and or remittances of its 3% levy to any security agency would not count as statutory payments to the NDDC, as it has not authorized any agency to collect remittances on its behalf.
Odili, in a statement sighted by our correspondent in Port Harcourt, said oil companies should insist on payment of any such sum to NDDC account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria, in conformity with the extant rules of the Treasury Single Account.
“It has come to the attention of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, that a security agency, working with unauthorised private individuals, is coercing international oil companies to pay the three percent levy due to the Commission to a private account in the United Kingdom.
“This is an alarming development and a clear case of illegality by elements within that security agency. We wish to state that the law setting up NDDC does not provide for the collection of its revenue by any agency other than the Commission.
“Secondly, extant rules, particularly the Treasury Single Account (TSA) regime, mean that all revenue due to any agency of government can only be paid to that agency’s account in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The Niger Delta Development Commission wishes to alert the general public and all stakeholders that it has not authorized any security agency to collect remittances on its behalf. Such payments and or remittances shall never count as statutory payments to the NDDC.
“Accordingly, any oil company, invited on such purposes should insist on payment of any such sum to the NDDC account with the Central Bank of Nigeria but not to any other agency’s account.”
NDDC further advised oil firms coerced to make such payments to report same immediately to the Commission’s Director of Legal Services, Mr Clever Okoro, on +234 813 011 7590.
“Any security agency wishing to recover unremitted funds from the IOCs or oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region, should do so in collaboration with the management of NDDC and such refunds should be directed into the accounts of NDDC with the CBN, but not otherwise.”