The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other forty-nine oil firms are owing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) an accumulated remittance of N1.2 trillion in the form of unpaid dues.

The disclosure was allegedly made by the firm responsible for the collection of the unremitted statutory dues on behalf of NDDC, Paris Trust Limited, on Wednesday in Abuja. According to Paris Trust Limited, all the oil firms have been served letters to that effect since July 26, 2019.

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Further details: NDDC through its principal partner, Timothy Bagwams, revealed that majority of the firms have failed to remit the statutory 3% of their annual budgets to the Commission since 2015, and this is largely affecting development in the region.

According to Bagwams, the developmental activities of the Commission are funded by monies paid by Government and oil firms in the region, stressing that the failure by these firms to pay up dues means the Commission can only achieve little in addressing the developmental needs of the Niger Delta region.

Bagwams further disclosed that the NDDC had asked the Federal Government and all the oil and gas firms operating in the region to fulfil their financial statutory obligations to the Commission by remitting all their outstanding remittances to its coffers.

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“As I speak with you, the companies are owing NDDC more than N1.2 trillion, and this is why the Commission is achieving little in addressing the developmental needs of the region.”

“Since 2015, the Federal Government has not been remitting its statutory 15% 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.”

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“The 15%, 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.”

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Indebted oil firms: Some of the indebted firms listed by NDDC include the NNPC, National Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG),C, Shell and Agip. Others are Pan Ocean Oil, Petro Bas, Seplat, Moni Pulo Petroleum Development, South Atlantic Petroleum and Zenon, Slumberger and First Exploration, Dubri Oil Company Limited, among others.

In the meantime, the NNPC has confirmed the non-remittance of dues. In its reaction, the NNPC’s General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, confirmed that the Corporation is indeed owing NDDC. He, however, stated that NNPC had started repaying the debts.

“There is nothing wrong in being indebted to someone or an organisation. We are indebted to NDDC, but we reached an agreement with them (NDDC) on repayment and we have started the repayment few months ago.”

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