THE Senate Committee on Gas Resources, on Wednesday, January 20, directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and its subsidiaries to submit detailed of their audited accounts for the past three years within one week. The committee also blamed the federal government agencies for the worsening gas flaring in the country.
It noted that their inability to enforce payment of stipulated penalties on erring International Oil Companies was responsible for the increased gas flaring activities in the oil producing communities in the country. Agencies affected are Nigerian Petroleum Development Company; Nigerian Petroleum Investment and Management Service; and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, among others
Senator Albert Akpan, chairman of the committee, who gave the directive during the committee’s engagement with the agencies, said the request was in line with the mandate of the committee in its ongoing investigation into the activities of the agencies.
Akpan stressed that the accounts must be submitted as soon as possible to enable his committee meet its deadline given by the Senate. He said the audited documents would afford the committee, the opportunity to know the joint venture funding and cost determination of the oil companies and government agencies. “From here, we will know also who approves projects and how are the projects monitored and the mechanism for cost recovery and monitoring of the projects.”
He also tasked the agencies to present the data of the quality of gas flared by the oil companies in the past two years. “Give us the submission of the gas that you have flared and each of your operators involved. The quality of gas flared, the operators, the terminal and the related penalties paid.” Akpan frowned at the 2016 budget of the Department of Petroleum Resources, saying the N3billion earmarked by the agency on penalties for gas flaring, was grossly inadequate.
Dafe Sajebor, group general manager, NAPIMS /NNPC, and Sadler Mai-Bornu, managing director, National Petroleum Development Corporation, NPDC, assured the Senate that they are working hard to end gas flaring in the country between 2018 and 2020. Sajebor said, “The percentage of gas flared in the country is of average, 7 percent and we are still working on a number of projects to flare out. We are targeting 2018 for us to have a total flare out.
“Those evolutions have been translated and proposed for better fiscal regime in the Petroleum Industry Bill, and that is why we are praying and hoping that the PIB should be passed so that Nigerians can derive better benefits from the oil and gas investment, he said.”
— Feb 1, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT