$22bn OPLs, OMLs: House gives CBN 7- day ultimatum to give account

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By Odunewu Segun

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) have refused to take responsibility for the records of the $22 billion OPLs and Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) currently being investigated by the House of Reps.

National Daily gathered that at the sitting of the House Ad hoc Committee led by Honourable Gideon Gwani on Monday, it gave a seven-day ultimatum to the apex bank to provide documents to ascertain whether the payment of application fees, royalties, signature bonuses and other fees were actually made by oil firms.

Also, the committee resolved that the former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Funsho Kupolokun, should appear before it over the ceding of marginal fields to oil and gas operators.

In his opening remarks, Gwani said: “The meeting by the committee with relevant agencies would enable the committee trace the accounts where fees have been lodged, how much have been paid and by whom, what company has paid and who has not, if such payment have actually been received by the government or not, as well as the balance if any.”

According to a member of the Committee, Diri Douye, contradictory documents from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and OAGF were a source of concern to the committee

He said while DPR claimed that ConOil (OPL 257) has paid $100million, the AGF claimed in its submission that the same money was missing.

“There are several contradictions contained in the document submitted to us by DPR and AGF and we must get to the root of this matter; that is why we have asked the CBN to provide us with the statement of accounts of the DPR so we can be sure we got the right document from the DPR,” he said.

CBN was also queried over its decline in providing the statement of account of monies paid into the DPR account since 2002.

In his response, CBN’s Deputy Governor, Bayo Adelabu said discussions have been going on with JP Morgan to provide the statement needed.

He said: “According to J.P Morgan Policy, any information on a particular account exceeding seven years is achieved and we are talking of information from 2002 which was done manually so getting these information is not easy.

The committee began investigation into the award of all OPLs and OMLs by the Federal Government to ascertain whether due process and guidelines for the acquisition of oil and gas assets were complied with

 

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