NASS Orders Forensic Audit Of NDDC Accounts, Projects

 NASS Orders Forensic Audit Of NDDC Accounts, Projects

nigeria-assemblyFollowing a call by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)) on both Chambers of the National Assembly to assist it in compelling oil companies operating in the region that had routinely refused to remit three percent of its gross earning to the Commission as contained in the constitution, the Senate has commissioned a number of consultants to carry out a forensic audit of the Commission’s account books.
This was disclosed yesterday by the chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaboshi, at the continuation of a public hearing on the remittance of three percent gross earnings of oil companies operating in the region.
Senator Nwaboshi said the audit became necessary as a result of the revelation by Oriental Energy Resources Ltd that it made several attempts to reconcile its accounts with NDDC to no avail.
Oriental Energy Resources Ltd, during its submission, said that having taken over the operational obligations of its parent company, it paid $18million to NDDC in 2014 but could not remit $1million due to it because the Commission was not cooperative.
The representative of the company stated that despite several letters and reminders sent to the Commission for an account reconciliation meeting and payment since December 2015, there has not been any response from the Commission till date.
According to it, rather than send a verifiable account number or Treasury Single Account (TSA), NDDC sent a private account number that it was not comfortable with.
“We are appealing to the Committees to assist us by urging NDDC to meet with us because we are aware of what the law says about this matter,” the company’s representative pleaded.
The joint committee expressed disappointment at the situation and criticized the Commission for failing in its responsibility of collecting the dues.
“It seems NDDC is satisfied with what it has. It is sad though that it gave us the impression that they (oil companies) don’t want to pay and (that they) want us to collect the debts for it.
“It is however strange that NDDC is taking this stance concerning its dues, but it is typical of NDDC because they have a lot of liabilities which they don’t care about,” Nwaboshi said.
Members of the joint committee members called for a forensic audit of NDDC’s accounts and projects, saying that such had become necessary as revelations by Oriental show that there is something amiss at the Commission.
“Why would someone want to pay you and you refuse; there must be more to it.
“We cannot be turned to debt collectors because the impression was that the oil companies are difficult and not willing to pay, but today we see something else.
“Someone wants to pay but NDDC doesn’t want to take. If NDDC is not exempted from Treasury Single Account (TSA), then it has questions to answer,” lawmakers noted


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