The federal government says international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria are owing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) more than $4 billion.
Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, said this on Thursday, during the weekly ministerial press briefing at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The NDDC was established in 2000 to develop the oil-rich Niger Delta region in southern Nigeria.
IOCs are required to provide three percent of their annual budgets to the NDDC as their contribution to its funding.
Akpabio confirmed that the forensic audit report of the NDDC has been completed and would be submitted to President Muhammmadu Buhari at his convenience.
“All the international oil companies are owing and efforts are ongoing to recoup the money,” he said but declined to provide details before the submission of the forensic report to President Buhari.”
Akpabio also said the NDDC was owing contractors about N3 trillion, but he noted that not all contracts awarded with costs can be regarded as debt.
According to him, the emergency contracts worth N600 billion that had been awarded had not been implemented and cannot be regarded as NDDC debt.
“We (NDDC) have a commitment in the excess of N3 trillion. The forensic audit will clarify these things. NDDC is still being owed over $4 billion by all the international oil companies (IOCs) as part of their 3% contribution to NDDC and the federal government is also owing the NDDC but there are plans to work out plans to recover these monies,” he added.
Akpabio said the NDDC diverted N10 billion from other projects to execute the east-west road in view of its critical importance to the people of the region.
“So far, N7 billion has been released out of the N10 billion,” he noted.
The minister disclosed that he had written to President Muhammadu Buhari to include the project in Sukuk fund so that it can be ready for commissioning during the lifespan of the present administration.
According to him, about N45 billion is needed to complete the road project.