INTERNATIONAL oil companies operating in Nigeria owe the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) more than $4bn in unpaid royalties according to the minister of Niger Delta Affairs senator Godswill Akpabio.
Speaking at the weekly ministerial press briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at State House, Abuja, Senator Akpabio said these debts have accrued over years. He added that statutorily the oil companies were required to pay 3% of their annual budgets to the commission as their contribution to its funding but none of them had paid so far.
Senator Akpabio said: “All the international oil companies are owing their statutory contribution to NDDC running into over $4nn for many years and efforts are ongoing to recoup the money.”
According to Senator Akpabio, the NDDC on its part was owing contractors about N3trn ($7.27bn) but not all contracts awarded with costs can be regarded as debt. He added that the over N600bn ($1.45bn) of emergency contracts that had been awarded had not been implemented and cannot therefore be regarded as NDDC debt.