Reps probe N7.6tr revenue loss to IOCs, sharp practices

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House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate the loss of $21 billion, equivalent of  N7.6 trillion, crude revenue to International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country.

The House at its plenary also resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to undertake the assignment. This was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved under matter of urgent public importance by Sunday Marshall Katung.

The committee, when constituted, would probe  the operations of the Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (PSC) between Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and  IOCs to determine the reasons for the revenue loss.

The committee is also to review the PSC and the Joint Operation Agreement and other relevant agreements between the NNPC and IOCs with a view to regularising all the anomalies responsible for the revenue loss and report back to the House within six weeks, for further legislative actions.

Leading debate on the motion, Katung noted that the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, had, while briefing journalists  last year December, revealed that the nation lost about $21 billion (N7.6 trillion) to IOCs operating in the country due to non-implementation of the PSC.

According to the lawmaker, “in 2013, although there was a notice to oil companies that government would take steps to correct this anomaly, government did not carry it through in terms of going to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to get approval.”

Katung contended that  these acts of negligence, if not outright collusion, had been going on for a long time, resulting in the depletion of the revenue of the country. He said the development is a sad reminder of how the wealth of the nation end up in foreign land “while her economy and the lot of her citizens continue to dwindle, as is evidenced by, among others, her economic recession and the pervasive and acute poverty in the country.”

The lawmaker urged the House to step in and take adequate measures to halt further oil loss to IOCs.

Also, yesterday, the House  mandated its Committee on Housing to investigate alleged fraudulent practices in the housing sector.

The House, while adopting a motion by Joe Edionwele at yesterday’s plenary  on “the need to investigate fraudulent activities” in the housing sector, directed  the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to  evolve appropriate mechanism to ensure the registration of all estate developing firms in the country.

Leading debate on the motion, Edionwele said that in a bid to ensure adequate shelter in the country, the Federal Government evolved a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

According to him, the PPP arrangement entails the government providing land for estate developers, who are expected to build houses for sale to members of the public at affordable rates.

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