By Joshua Egbodo Abuja–
The Ad Hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating alleged revenue leakages in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has directed its searchlights in the direction of Duke Oil over reported nonremittance of about N6 trillion.
Duke Oil is a subsidiary of the NNPC.
Speaking at a meeting with members of the panel yesterday, its Chairman, Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, explained that the investigative hearing, expected to cover January, 2016 to 2017, was necessitated by on the inability of DPR to enforce compliance of remittances into the federation account.
He said the committee had also resolved to, among other things, fi nd out the actual quantity of crude lifted by Duke Oil , number of Special Products such as fuel oil (LPFO), Naphtha, condensate, liquid natural gas, pentane plus, and liquefi ed petroleum gas (LPG) on which they were expected to pay royalties.
According the committee, it will also look at the composition of the board of Duke Oil to ascertain who the directors are, why it was registered in Panama while it head office is in the United Kingdom, but does business in Nigeria, nonpayment- of taxes to the federal government and why it has not published it audited Accounts since inception.
“The speaker asked pertinent questions regarding the payment of funds into the Consolidated Revenue Accounts, and while they assured that some of the funds had been remitted, a large portion of it is still out there.
“Mr. Speaker also demanded the status of outstanding remittances as alleged by petitions that led to the impending investigation, and they said documents to that effect would be made available at the shortest possible time.
“We know royalties are supposed to be paid to DPR, but from the information we have, some of these companies are not paying the required royalties and in this period of recession, we cannot allow some few cabals fleet away resources that are supposed to accrue to the consolidated revenue account of the federation,” Jarigbe said.
Also, in his observations, a member of the committee, Hon.
Olyiwola Kazeem, stressed that issues of revenue leakages had continued to plague the oil sector, adding that “even now, the issue of Oil Mining Lease(OML) has arisen where these wells are not relinquished as at when due into the pocket for further reallocation.