Presidential Panel summons NNPC GMD over alleged $1.8bn oil licence shortfall

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property at the weekend confirmed it has summoned newly appointed Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, to appear before it on Tuesday to explain circumstances surrounding an alleged $1.8billion shortfall in payment of three oil blocs operated by some multinational oil companies.

Chairman of the presidential panel, Chief Okoi Obono Oblah, who confirmed this on Sunday  to a national daily said the NNPC boss would be expected  to explain the alleged shortfall in funds that accrued from renewal of three oil mining licences, including OMLs, 67, 68 and 70.

The invitation, the panel said, was sequel to a petition filed before the panel by human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN.

The presidential panel said it was investigating alleged $1.8billion owed the Federal Government by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (ExxonMobil), with respect to Oil Mining Licences (OMLs) 67, 68 and 70.

Falana had in his petition alleged that ExxonMobil in 2009, paid only about $600million out of payable renewal fees of $2.5billion, for the three oil blocs, although the OIC had since denied the allegation, having sent its officials to testified before the presidential panel.

In a letter dated July 15, the company insisted that it made a full payment amounting to $665million for the renewal of the mining licences for the three oil blocs in 2009. It equally forwarded to the panel, documents from the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and the NNPC, regarding the transactions.

Not  satisfied with explanations from the oil giant, the panel, ordered the NNPC boss to unfailingly appear before it on Tuesday. The letter with acknowledgment stamp of NNPC GMD’s office dated July 22, 2019, was titled, “Summons to appear before the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property to explain what Mobil Producing Nigeria Limited paid for renewal fees for Oil Mining Licences (OMLs) 67, 68 and 70”. The summon further read:

“Your Corporation is expected upon appearance to throw light concerning a letter from Nigerian Petroleum Corporation dated December 19, 2011, to the effect that the renewal fees due from Mobil Producing Nigeria (ExxonMobil) for OMLs 67, 68 and 70 was at the agreed fees of $665million. “You are requested to bring along the following documents: “NNPC letter dated December 19, 2019 addressed to the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources titled, ‘RE: Renewal of Oil Minning Lease for OML 67, 68 and 70’; any other document(s) it consider relevant to the matter.”

 

Source: The Sun

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