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Nigeria investigates Mobil, others over $1.9bn fraud



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The federal government says it is investigating multinational giants, including Mobil Oil Producing for allegedly shortchanging it in the payment for the oil blocks the oil companies acquired and remittance of taxes.

This development came after an Italian expert, Dr. Don Hubert, in his analysis of the report on OPL 245, noted that the Malabu deal from the onset was designed to shortchange Nigeria as the agreement took out areas that were meant to generate revenue for the country.

A senior presidential assistant and Chairman of the Special Panel on Recovery of Public Properties, Okoi Obono-Obla, said at a press conference in Abuja, that Mobil Oil Producing committed the act in 2009 after it acquired an oil block for $2.5 billion but remitted only $600 million into the federation account and is yet to pay the balance of $1.9 billion.

Obono-Obla, who spoke at an Anti-Corruption Situation Room on Public Presentation of Expert Analysis of OPL 245, otherwise known as Malabu Oil, disclosed that apart from Mobil Oil Producing Nigeria, the panel is also investigating a lot of multinational oil companies in Nigeria over their failure to pay taxes to the government.

“We are investigating Mobil over their failure to remit over $1.9 billion to the federation account arising out of the purchase of oil block by Mobil in 2009. The price of that oil block was about $2.5 billion and Mobil paid only $600 million, so we want to recover the $1.9 billion that is outstanding.

“We are also investigating a lot of oil companies because of their failure to pay tax, a lot of them don’t pay tax, you can imagine how much they are making and yet a lot of them don’t pay tax; that is a classic example of lawlessness and causing economic adversity to the country,” Obono-Obla said.

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