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Reps investigate operations of joint venture agreements

05 July 2012, 16:34

The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream)  to investigate the operations of the Joint Venture Agreements (JVA) in respect of revenue leakages.  

The committee would also carry out a forensic review of the  JVC books to establish the amount of income that had accrued to Joint Venture partners in the past seven years and the amount remitted to the federation account.

The committee is expected to report back to the House within seven weeks.

This resolution emanated from a motion moved by Rep. Ossai Ossai (PDP-Delta ) which was unanimously adopted without debate.

According to Ossai, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on behalf of the Federal Government entered into JVA with all oil companies in Nigeria.

He noted that the NNPC and the oil companies were expected to fund the Joint Venture operations.

Ossai said that besides the lifting of oil in agreed sharing ratio, there were associated benefits or revenues in line with their interest holdings as contained in the JVA.

The legislator said that government's contribution to the funding  of the ventures were raised in the Appropriation Acts and realised by NNPC through the monthly cash calls.

He said that section 162 of the 1999 Constitution as amended required that all revenues accruing to the Federal Government be paid into the federation account.

Ossai alleged that income from sale of assets, marine transportation, haulage or pipeline transportation which formed part of the Joint Venture Operations are unaccounted for.

"These sources of the Joint Venture  income amounted to billions of naira or dollars, particularly haulage or pipeline transportation as the case may be,"he said.

He said that the Operator-Companies netted these income against expenses already settled with the collusion of NNPC to avoid remittance to the federation account. "

The Joint Operating Agreements (JOA) largely favoured the operator-companies to the detriment of the non-operator, NNPC.

In another motion, the House urged the Ministry of Communication and the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to direct all mobile  service providers to activate the Caller Line Identification (CLI) device system.

This, according to the motion, will render ineffective all calls made under the "unknown caller" scenarios or any form of hidden identity.

This resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Rep. Yakut Balogun (ACN-Lagos) which was also adopted without debate.

Balogun said that since the advent of  the Global System for Mobile Telecommunication (GSM) in Nigeria in 2001, the defunct M-Tel was the only service provider that would not allow blocked numbers make calls.  

He noted that calls from hidden numbers were dangerous as using un-registered lines to make calls which was an indirect way of undermining the registration exercise.

The legislator stressed that some miscreants were still engaged in the act of making calls to intimidate and threaten other citizens.

He said that preventing such calls from going through,would further enhance safety of lives and property.



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