OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has threatened to issue warrants of arrest against the heads of some multi national oil companies and regulatory agencies in the petroleum sector.
The threat is coming on the heels of the failure of the companies and agencies to submit documents before the House joint committee on Finance, Banking and Currency Operations which is conducting an investigation into the alleged $30 billion annual revenue leakages by multinational oil companies.
Regulatory agencies on the radar of possible arrest are: Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Managing Director, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), and the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).
Oil companies involved are: PAN Ocean Oil Nigeria Ltd, Statoil Company Ltd, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd, Addax Petroleum Development Company Ltd, Chevron, Sterling Oil Exploration, Heritage Oil Exploration, and a host of others.
The threat of arrest was issued by the chairmen of the committees on finance, Mr. James Faleke (APC, Lagos); and banking and currency operations, Mr. Victor Nwokolo (PDP, Delta) on Tuesday.
Mr. Faleke told journalists that several letters have been written to the aforementioned agencies and organisations which were not honoured.
According to him, “the multinational companies are also accused of tax evasion, malpractices, misuse and diversion of foreign exchange allocations”.
“The joint committee has given the organisations seven days to furnish it with details of documents required or face arrest in line with constitutional provisions”
Recall that the House at plenary on March 5, 2020, mandated the joint committee on Finance to conduct a public hearing to ascertain the abuse of billions of dollars in foreign exchange allocation to companies for the purpose of payment of foreign vendors.
The various originating documents maintained by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Deposit Money Banks, Forex Dealers, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and other beneficiary companies are expected to be turned over to the panel for scrutiny, according to the lead chairman.