The Federal Government has yet to pay oil companies a total of $1.07bn in cash calls required for the development of joint venture assets for the first four months of the year, The Punch reports.

The government failed to exit the JV cash call arrangement in January in line with an agreement it reached with the international oil companies in December. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation owns 55% of the JVs with Shell, and 60% of all the others, and the JVs are jointly funded by the private oil companies and the Federal Government through the corporation.

The latest monthly report of the NNPC showed that the corporation paid a total of $1.78bn from January to April this year, as against $2.85bn expected to be paid for the period. It paid $171.1m in January; $168.2m in February; $267.1m in March; and $142.1m in April from its export proceeds.

The NNPC said a total of N163bn, an equivalent of $1.03bn at a budgeted exchange rate of N197/$, was transferred to the JVCC from domestic crude oil receipts from January to April. The NNPC was expected to pay $712.46m to its joint venture partners monthly for the development of oil and gas assets, in line with the 2016 budget.