Holding back monies that are supposed to go into the Nigerian government's purse seems to be one of the easiest things to do.

But a saying also goes that the rat inside the house brings the one outside in to steal the fish.

The House of Representatives want to know why $250 million that is supposed to come into Nigeria's purse did not hit the nation's account.

It is threatening to issue a warrant of arrest on Managing Directors of 10 oil firms, if they fail to appear before it on Thursday to account for the unremitted $250 million dollars to the Federal Government’s purse

The House of Representatives Committee on Oil and Gas, gave the threat on Wednesday after its sitting in Lagos. 

Mr Jerigbe Agom, the Chairman of the committee, berated the companies, including, Aiteo Energy, Neconde Energy, Frontier Energy and seven indigenous oil companies for allegedly not showing interest to remit the fund.

Lingering Illegality

He wants the Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to appear before the committee in Abuja on December 19 over Operating Mining Lease (OML) 119, to explain why the block was producing 5,000 barrels in spite of its capacity to deliver beyond that figure.

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He said the subsidiary arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) failed to remit $10 million accrued debt in line with the agreement it reached with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

The NNPC had, on many occasions, shunned the committee’s invitations to explain the infraction, he said, wondering why the NNPC, which efforts should be instrumental to government drive to block revenue leakage in the oil and gas sector, turned down his committee’s sitting for no reason.

He also spoke on ExxonMobil Nigeria’s Gas-To-Liquid project, saying that project was illegal because it had no licence from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

Agom added that the committee observed the infraction and would not allow the illegality to linger without addressing the situation.

The committee, in the meantime, gave the IOCS two weeks to tidy their grey arrears in the remittance of funds to the Federal Government.

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The Deputy Director, Planning, DPR, Mrs Folashade Odunuga, said International Oil Companies (IOCs) had shown deep interest to pay their debts to the government’s coffers but were constrained by fiscal price disparity.

She also said though the NPDC promised to remit 10 million dollars to narrow its debt, it failed to fulfill its pledge.

Odunuga said the agency would play its watchdog roles very well in the industry as well as make rigorous moves to block revenue leakages from the nation’s oil and gas sector.

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