By Mbafan Ade (BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT) –
Oil firms operating in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region are said to have defaulted in their statutory remittances to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the tune of $4 billion.
Nigeria’s Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, made the accusation on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing held at the State House in Abuja.
Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa-Ibom State, noted that oil firms operating in the area are expected to provide three percent of their annual budgets to the commission, but that none had complied with this.
He vowed that the Ministry of Niger Delta would take a keen interest in the implementation of the three percent Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) compensation to host communities.
The minister, who also acknowledged that the NDDC was oweing contractors three ₦3 trillion (about $7.2 billion), however explained that not all awarded contracts with costs can be regarded as debt.
Commenting on the progress made so far in the Commission, Akpabio announced that about 109 projects – which would be commissioned soon – have been implemented in the South-South.
According to the minister, funds from the Niger Delta Ministry – which was established in 2008 with a hundred ₦200 billion – shrank to ₦19 billion in 2020 and then rose slightly to ₦24 billion in 2021.
He further disclosed that ₦10 billion – out of the allocated fund – had been dedicated to fix the East-West Road.