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Oil firms evade $2b payment to govt, Reps panel reveals


Oil worker

Oil worker

The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating all oil prospecting licences (OPLs) and Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) granted by the Federal Government yesterday revealed that oil companies deliberately evaded the payment of compulsory fees to the tune of about $2 billion.

Addressing newsmen yesterday, Chairman of the committee, Gideon Gwani (PDP Kaduna) said the oil companies, which should have salvaged the country by prompt payment were ironically owing the government hundreds of millions of dollars, a development he said has put the country in a precarious situation.

The lawmaker described the situation as worrisome, adding it was a dangerous development that should not be allowed to continue.

His words: “It is estimated that the oil companies by their actions have either evade or avoided the payment of these compulsory fees, which is presumed to have denied the Federal Government the sum of about $2 billion.

“At a time when the government is talking of obtaining loans for infrastructural development, such as roads, railways, powers plants, petroleum refineries, among others and where oil blocs have been allocated to some companies to use the proceeds accruing from loyalties, signature bonuses etc, to fund these important projects, yet, several years after, these facilities are still in comatose,” he said.

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