House to Investigate N500bn Debt Owed PPMC by Marketers

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Decries illegal activities of mining firms
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The House of Representatives has resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate debts amounting to over N500 billion allegedly owed to the Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC) by oil marketers.

The N500 billion is supposed to be proceeds of a Through-Put Agreement between the PPMC and the marketers, which does not empower them to sell out products stored in their respective tank farms, the House said.

It noted that the marketers however sold out the products and had since not remitted the proceeds to the PPMC.

The committee would also investigate allegations of criminal sabotage by the oil marketers in connivance with the management of PPMC, not to remit the debts.

The resolution of the House followed a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe (Cross River PDP) who accused the PPMC of deliberately leaving the funds in the hands of the marketers, thereby contributing to  the dire financial straits in the country.

He identified the marketers as Oando, Forte oil, NIPCO, Total oil, Conoil, Mobil Oil, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Ltd, MRS Oil and Gas, Heyden Petroleum, Rahamaniyya Petroleum, Amicable Petroleum, Aiteo Petroleum, Honeywell Oil, Capital Oil, Felande Petroleum, Sharon Oil and Zamson Petroleum.
Jarigbe added that some of the marketers were also beneficiaries of the interventionist allocations from the PPMC.

“The complacency of the management of PPMC might compromise the interest of government and deprive the country of back funds that are arbitrarily in custody of some few individuals who intend to sabotage government and criminally convert funds that should rightly accrue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund,” he said.

In another development, the House directed its Committee on Solid Minerals Development to investigate the activities of local and foreign mining firms involved in illegal exploration and exploitation of the sector.

It lamented that the illegal miners are reducing Nigeria’s stake in solid minerals and other raw materials in addition to depriving the country of about 500,000 jobs for unemployed youths.
The House also urged the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the solid minerals sector in order to help diversify from oil to non-oil sources of revenue.

Hon. Solomon Bulus Maren (Plateau PDP) in a motion, noted that the illegal miners do not contribute to the development of host communities as part of corporate social responsibility.
Instead, they leave the communities devastated, impoverished and exposed to hazardous environmental conditions, Maren said.