House Summons NNPC over N7bn Revenue Shortfall

20 Nov 2012

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Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Solomon Adeola

By Onwuka Nzeshi

The House of Representatives has  summoned  the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over a N7 billion revenue shortfall which allegedly  occurred in 2006.

The House also condemned the recent oil spill that occurred at a Mobil facility in Akwa Ibom State.

Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Solomon Adeola, who disclosed  this Monday,  said the  committee has  equally queried  other agencies in the petroleum sector  including the Department  of Petroleum Resources (DPR),  Petroleum and  Pipelines Marketing Company (PPMC),  Petroleum Products  Pricing and  Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources  over the issue.

He said the Public Accounts Committee would also conduct  a comprehensive investigation  into the operations  of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to ascertain its status in terms of revenue remittance to the government.

According to Adeola, preliminary investigations have shown that the NLNG  hadnot remitted any revenue into government coffers since it commenced operations in the country  about seven years ago.

The lawmaker alleged that there had  been several discrepancies in revenue accruing from oil and gas, adding  that  the 2013  budget proposal currently before  the National Assembly does not reflect revenue expected from gas resources.

Adeola disclosed that the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation had been doing a lot to track government revenue  but needed  to gain financial  autonomy to do more.

The Public Accounts Committee, he pledged, would do everything within its powers to ensure that the Auditor Generals Office was placed  on  first line charge and draws its budget directly  from the Federation Account.

On the ongoing constitution amendment, Adeola  disclosed that  Alimosho Federal Constituency which he represents had demanded  for the creation of two additional local governments councils but had  kicked against the creation of more states in the country.

The people of Alimosho Federal Constituency have  also rejected the proposed creation of  constitutional roles for traditional rulers.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Hon. Uche Ekwunife, who commented on the issue Monday, said the frequency of spills around Mobil’s Qua Iboe facility has become worrisome and called for tougher environmental laws and sanctions. 

Ekwunife lamented that in spite of these frequent spills and its resultant damage to the environment in the Niger Delta, multinational oil companies have continued to operate with impunity and without being penalised.

“I condemn unequivocally and in strong terms the recent oil spill from Mobil facility in Akwa Ibom. The frequency of the spills around Mobil’s Qua Iboe facility has become worrisome and calls for tougher environmental laws and sanctions. There is no arguing the fact that the frequent spills damages the environment and impoverish the fishermen who depend on the water for their source of livelihood.”

Mobil must therefore accept full responsibility for the spill; speed  up re- mediation and restoration processes as well as offer immediate relief materials and compensation to the impacted people and communities,” she said.

Ekwunife said that  recently the sum of $4.8 billion was approved by an American court as compensation to families of eleven victims of oil spill in the United States.

According to the lawmaker, such a penalty  should serve as a signal that the case of frequency of Spills in Akwa Ibom and the Niger Delta should no longer  be handled with kid gloves  as human life and the ecosystem are adversely impacted at each spill site.

She pledged that the House Committee would  monitor closely the process of clean up and re-mediation of the impacted areas.

Tags: Politics, Featured, Nigeria, NNPC, Revenue Shortfall

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