The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has accused a “certain security agency” of coercing international oil companies to pay statutory 3% revenue due it into private bank accounts.
The Commission, in a public notice on Friday, signed by its Ag. Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo D. Pondei, said the security agency, which it failed to name, had provided two different accounts of banks in London. The statement said the first account was operated by the security agency while the second belonged to an unnamed individual.
NDDC, which warned IOCs against making such illegal payment into the said accounts, explained that its 3% revenue payment by the IOCs could only be made into its offshore account run by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The interventionist agency directed possible complaints from affected IOCs to its Director of Legal Services, Barr. Clever Okoro. However, when The Neighbourhood called up Mr. Okoro on the development, he declined comments on the matter. He rather directed all inquiry to the Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Obi Odili. “Please, direct all inquiries to our Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Charles Odili”.
NDDC’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Charles Obi Odili, could not be reached as of the time of this report.
Some of the oil companies expected to remit the 3% statutory revenue to the Commission include SHELL, AGIP, TOTAL, SEPLAT, NNPC, NLNG, Pan Ocean Oil, Petro Bas, Moni Pulo, and South Atlantic Petroleum and Zenon, Slumberger, First Exploration, Dubril Oil Company Limited, among others.
As of 2019, NDDC had engaged the services of a firm, Paris Trust Limited, to collect outstanding remittances owed by the oil companies. The firm’s Principal Partner, Timothy Bagwams, had then accused the oil firms of failure to pay up.
However, NDDC later issued a statement through its Director, Corporate Affairs.
Read it below.
We disown UK private account for remittance of 3% levy by oil companies
It has come to the attention of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, that a security agency, working with unauthorised private individuals, is coercing international oil companies to pay the three percent levy due to the Commission to a private account in the United Kingdom.
This is an alarming development and a clear case of illegality by elements within that security agency. We wish to state that the law setting up NDDC does not provide for the collection of its revenue by any agency other than the Commission. Secondly, extant rules, particularly the Treasury Single Account (TSA) regime, mean that all revenue due to any agency of government can only be paid to that agency’s account in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Niger Delta Development Commission wishes to alert the general public and all stakeholders that it has not authorized any security agency to collect remittances on its behalf. Such payments and or remittances shall never count as statutory payments to the NDDC.
Accordingly, any oil company, invited on such purposes should insist on payment of any such sum to the NDDC account with the Central Bank of Nigeria but not to any other agency’s account.
Any security agency wishing to recover unremitted funds from the IOCs or oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region should do so in collaboration with the management of the NDDC and such refunds should be directed into the accounts of the NDDC with the Central Bank of Nigeria, but not otherwise
Any oil company coerced to make such payments should report same immediately to Mr. Clever Okoro, Director, Legal Services, of the Commission on +234 813 011 7590.
Charles Obi Odili
Director, Corporate Affairs
October 9, 2020