Minister of Niger Delta Affairs( MNDA) Senator Godswill Akpabio, has said International oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria are owing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) more than $4 billion.
The minister disclosed this on Thursday at the weekly ministerial Press Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the State House, Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria reports that the NDDC was established on June 5 2000 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to develop the oil-rich Niger Delta region in southern Nigeria.
Akpabio said the IOCs were required to provide 3 percent of their annual budgets to the commission as their contribution to its funding, but none of the IOCs had paid so far.
“All the international oil companies are owing their statutory contribution to NDDC running into over $4 billion for many years and efforts are ongoing to recoup the money,” he said.
Akpabio also said the NDDC on its part was owing contractors about N3 trillion, noting however that not all contracts awarded with costs can be regarded as debt.
He however, stated that the over N600 billion of emergency contracts that had been awarded had not been implemented and cannot therefore be regarded as NDDC debt.
“We (NDDC) have a commitment in the excess of N3 trillion. The forensic audit will clarify these things. NDDC is still being owed over $4 billion by all the international oil companies (IOCs) as part of their 3% contribution to NDDC and the federal government is also owing the NDDC but there are plans to work out plans to recover these monies,” he added.
The former Akwa Ibom state governor said the NDDC diverted N10 billion from other projects to execute the east-west road in view of its critical importance to the people of the region.
“So far, N7 billion has been released out of the N10 billion,” he said.