- Gives NNPC, others seven-day ultimatum
Adedayo Adejobi in Abuja
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has written the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, urging him to ensure that all unremitted sums due to the commission from the federal government pursuant to Section 2 (a) and (c) of the NDDC Act of 2014, since the year 2015 is remitted.
The total outstanding remittances are estimated at over N1.2 trillion.
In separate letters to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), and some other oil and gas companies, the commission also gave them seven-day ultimatum to fulfill their statutory financial obligations to the commission by remitting all their outstanding contributions to its coffers.
In the letter written by Paris Trust, a firm engaged by the NDDC, the commission informed the SGF that since 2015, the federal government had not been remitting its statutory 15 per cent of the total monthly statutory allocations due to member states of the commission from the Federation Account as well as the 50 per cent of monies due to member states of the commission from the Ecological Fund.
The 15 per cent, according to the provisions of Section 14(2) (a) and (c) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment, Etc) Act, 2014 represents the contribution of the federal government to the commission.
“We respectfully pray you use your good office to ensure that all unremitted sums due and owing to the NDDC pursuant to Section 2 (a) and (c) of the NDDC Act, 2014, since the year 2015, is remitted,” NDDC said in the letter to the SGF.
In separate letters to the oil firms, the NDDC alleged that all the oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta region have defaulted in the remittance of the three per cent of their annual budget to the commission.
Section 14(2)(b) of the NDDC Act, 2014 states that three per cent of the total annual budget of any oil producing company operating onshore and offshore in the Niger-Delta area, including gas-processing companies, shall be paid and credited to the fund established by the NDDC for the defrayal of all expenditure.
NDDC told the NNPC and other companies that it would be left with no option than to resort to legal action if at the end of a seven-day ultimatum they fail to remit the money.
“Take notice therefore that if at the expiration of seven clear days from the date of your receipt of this letter you still fail, refuse and or neglect to liquidate the outstanding indebtedness due and owing to NDDC, we shall without fail commence legal action against you in a court of law to recover the said sum together with any additional interest that may have accrued thereon since 2015,” the letter signed by Timothy Bagwams, a principal partner at the firm, said.
Apart from NNPC and SPDC, other companies which are allegedly owing the commission, include Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Petrobras and Slumberger.