House C’ttee Probes Duke Oil over Alleged N6tn Revenue Loss

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• Asks NNPC, DPR, CBN to show evidence of remittances
James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee Investigating Revenue Leakages in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and its subsidiaries, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has beamed its searchlight on Duke Oil over alleged non remittance of over N6 trillion revenue.

The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe (PDP, Cross River), said the probe would span January 2016 to 2017 and predicated on the apparent inability of DPR to enforce compliance of remittances into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

The committee also resolved to among other things, ascertain the actual quantity of crude oil lifted by Duke Oil, the volume of special products such as fuel oil (LPFO), naphtha, condensates, liquid natural gas, pentane plus, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for which they were supposed to have paid royalties.

Duke Oil, being a subsidiary of the NNPC, the committee will also look at the composition of the firm’s board to ascertain who the directors are, why it is registered in Panama while it head office is in the United Kingdom; but does business in Nigeria; non payment of taxes to the federal government and why it had not published its audited accounts since inception.
Jarigbe said DPR appeared helpless in ensuring that revenues are remitted to the government coffers.

He said: ”The speaker asked  pertinent questions regarding the payment of funds into the Consolidated Revenue Accounts, and while they assured him that some of the funds had been remitted, a large portion of it is still out there.
“The 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.”
A member of the panel, Hon. Olayiwola Kazeem (APC, Ogun), reminded the panel that issues of revenue leakages have continued to plague the oil sector, adding that “even now, the issue of Oil Mining Lease (OML) has risen where these wells are not relinquished as at when due into the pocket for further re-allocation.”

Also,  Hon. James Abiodun Faleke (APC, Lagos), a member of the panel, said: “If Duke Oil is responsible for lifting our crude oil, we need to know the volume it has lifted, the meter used in calculating the volume, is it a special meter?
“Without these, we cannot ascertain the volume of oil they lifted and they have to avail us this information to enable us establish the true position of things.”

Nonetheless, Jarigbe vowed that the  panel would leave no stone unturned as it scrutinises the stock profile of the Port Harcourt and Warri Refineries with regards to the volume of products they come out with per day.
According to him: “While other companies take 32,000 barrels of crude per day, Duke Oil alone takes 90,000 barrels per day and uses other oil firms as third-party traders who pay into offshore accounts belonging to Duke Oil, whereas there are no evidence of them remitting the said funds back to government coffers. It is this leakage and the whereabouts of these missing funds that we want to unravel.”