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Oil royalties: Sahara, Tevier, NLNG, others owe FG $68.6m

Oil royalties: Sahara, Tevier, NLNG, others owe FG $68.6m

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Ifeanyi Onuba

 fresh facts have emerged why the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has not remitted the sum of $85.21m oil royalties into the Federation Account.

Investigation by our correspondent on Friday revealed that out of the expected royalties of $85.21m for February, only $16.56m was actually released by companies operating in the oil sector to the corporation.

Documents seen by our correspondent, which were submitted to the Federation Account Allocation Committee, showed that the inability of some oil companies to remit their royalties was responsible for the underpayment.

A breakdown of the outstanding $68.65m royalties showed that Sahara Energy Resources Limited had the highest unpaid royalties of $33.97m as of February.

This is followed by Tevier Petroleum Limited with unpaid royalties of $12.92m.

Other companies with outstanding royalties payment to the government, according to the document, are Brittania U with $8.98m; Eterna Plc, $8.29m; Nigeria Liquified National Gas $0.93m, and Duke Oil Incorporate, $3.64m.

The report read in part, “A total of N74,067,185,437.92 was collected in the month of February 2018; this shows a negative variance of N1,939,889,304.24 or 2.55 per cent below the approved monthly budget.

“Compared to the collection of N111,835,458,519.12 in January 2018, this sum (N74,067,185,437.92) – the February collection – was lower by N37,769,273,081.20 or 33 per cent.

“We were unable to meet the approved budget as a result of low collection from Concession Rentals and the PSC (Petroleum Sharing Contract) Royalty.

“Furthermore, we received a sum of $16,560,331.50 from the $85,942,414.62 expected from the PSC and the MCA (Modified Carry Agreement) lifting for the month under review, leaving $68,654,609.12 as outstanding.”

The underpayment of revenue into the federation account by the NNPC had resulted in the Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting ending in a deadlock on Wednesday night.

Responding to the development, the Chairman, FAAC Commissioners of Finance Forum, Mahmoud Yunusa, accused the NNPC of deliberately sidelining other stakeholders in its revenue remittances into the federation account.

He said, “We have agreed to hold the meeting, move on to our respective states and pay salaries so that everyone will celebrate the Easter.

“Be that as it may, the account as submitted by the NNPC is still not acceptable to us. We will sit down with the NNPC to ensure that all the grey areas are trashed out. What we expected from the NNPC is less than what was submitted. We, the commissioners of states are not happy the way the NNPC is running this business.

“We are major shareholders in this business but we are not happy with the way the NNPC is handling it. We won’t take this anymore. The NNPC will have to sit up and do its job. We are not taking this anymore. We would not come here, spend days without holding the meeting.

“So, in the spirit of Easter, we would take this amount, go home with it; pay salaries and come back to meet the NNPC to pay us our balance. We have to find out wherever the error is.”

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had summoned the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, to discuss the reason(s) for the underpayment of revenue.

Adeosun had said, “There are issues that we would take up with the NNPC. We would sit down with the GMD of the NNPC or his representatives; we would hopefully sit down to thrash out subsisting issues.”

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