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Wednesday, 24 May 2023 09:23

Lawmakers Express Displeasure over Oil Companies’ CEOs Evasion of Alleged $2.4bn Missing Crude Probe

The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating all crude oil exports from 2014 till date and the alleged illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil resulting in the loss of $2.4 billion revenue has frowned at chief executives of oil companies for avoiding the probe. 

At the resumed investigative hearing of the committee yesterday, its Chairman, Hon. Mark Gbollah, expressed concern that chief executives of oil companies, which he listed to include Total Energies and Oriental Energies, invited for the probe rather sent representatives.

Gbillah said, “Like I mentioned to Total, your MD (Oriental) has not at any time during this hearing deemed it necessary to make himself available to talk to the parliament about issues that pertain to our commonwealth which your company is also managing on our behalf.

“We can see that since your last appearance on the 9th of the April, you had ample time within which he could have made the effort to appear before the House, but once again we are only receiving a letter of delegation.

“These are things that also would inform what conclusion we also make in our reports with regards to the willingness or otherwise of companies to cooperate with the parliament in carrying out our statutory constitutional duties.

“But considering also the time within which we have to conclude our assignment, we would engage you based on this correspondence but we would like to let you know that if we have cause for you to still appear before the conclusion of our report, then we would have to insist that the MD appears before the committee subsequently.”

However, among documents expected to be submitted by the oil companies over the probe were the name of the federal government appointed reshipment inspection agent or contractor for each of the crude oil cargo they lifted and exported out of Nigeria from 2014 to 2022, including the pre-shipment inspection records, reports and certificate of inspection. 

They were also expected to submit the name of the bank or banks, account number or numbers of their forex accounts in Nigerian banks, where they have made payment of the proceeds from each of the crude oil cargoes exported in the period under review and the bank statement for each of these accounts.

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