Nigeria Owes Int’l Oil Companies $5.1bn, Says NNPC

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Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has put Nigeria’s indebtedness to international oil companies through the Joint Venture Cash Call, JVC at $5.1billion.

The Chief Financial Officer, CFO, of NNPC, Mr Isiaka Abdulrasaq, who made this disclosure on Thursday while appearing before the Senate Committee on Gas declared that Nigeria is presently owing International Oil Companies $5.1bn in the Joint Venture Cash Call ( JVC ) business arrangement it has with them.

Abdulrasaq in his explanation told the committee that the Joint Venture Cash Call is business arrangement between the Nigerian government and International Oil Companies.

According to him, while Nigeria controls 60 percent of the business venture , the IOCs control 40 percent.

He further explained that “the problem however is that before this government came on board in 2015, Nigeria which holds 60 percent of shares in the joint business, for many years did not contribute its own required capital into it but only collecting its equity in form of revenues which made the country to as at 2015 be having $6.8bn unpaid capital into the venture.

“But the present government in 2016 succeeded in getting 35 percent discount from the unpaid capital amounting to $1.9bn from the unpaid capital , making the country to be owing the IOCs $5.1bn now”.

Commenting on the $3.2bn allegedly withdrawn by NNPC from its Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, dividend account since 2015, the CFO said there was no mismanagement in any of the withdrawals made.

According to him, from available records with the Corporation, only 13 withdrawals totalling $1.2 billion were made from the account.

He lamented that not less than seven out of the international oil companies dealing with NNPC, had been apprehensive on continuity of their business operations as a result of bogus figures being bandied about withdrawals from the NLNG dividend account.

Commenting, the committee Chairman, Senator Albert Akpan ( Akwa Ibom North East), directed the NNPC CFO to submit approving documents for all the withdrawals to the committee by next Tuesday.

“We are not saying any money has been stolen. What we are doing is clarifying processes of expenditures made from the account with a view to making management of the account more transparent and beneficial to Nigerians,” he further said.