Damilola Shittu – Abuja
The House of Representatives, on Thursday, asked Total Exploration and Production Nigeria to refund $592m to the Federal Government.
The decision was taken following the consideration of the Report of the Committee on Gas Resources led by Fred Agbedi.
The committee investigated the contract for the upgrade of OML 58, upgrade 1, the execution of Obite-Ubeta-Rumuji Pipeline and the Northern Option Pipeline Projects.
The amount was the excess allegedly paid on the contract awarded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services.
The House approved the recommendations that the excess payment of $592m should be recovered from TEPNG in consonance with the recommendations of Tabor VFM Audit Report.
Other recommendations are, “That a forensic investigative audit into the cost overrun emanating from all change orders, including $2.2bn on OML 58 Upgrade 1, $560m on OUR Pipeline and $528m on NOPL Pipeline Projects be conducted.
“That the actual cost of the projects as awarded by NNPC/NAPIMS and TEPNG be ascertained as it is difficult to ascertain the actual cost since all the parties do not agree on the cost.”
The House also considered the report of the same committee on the need to investigate the Contract for the Modification of the EGP 3B Production Platform following the Joint Venture Agreement between the NNPC and Chevron Nigeria Limited.
The legislature decided as follows, “That a supposed entity called Diakrino Services Limited, which was engaged by NNPC/NAPIMS to conduct a Value for Money audit at the cost of $1m, was not a legal entity as was confirmed by the committee from a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission.”
The lawmakers, therefore, approved that the contract sum of $1m awarded to Diakrino Services Limited should be paid back to the Federation Account by four staff members of NNPC/NAPIMS involved in managing the contract awarded to Diakrino.
The lawmakers said the firm should also be apprehended and prosecuted for violating the Procurement Act, 2007.
When contacted, a spokesman for Total, Mr Charles Ebereonwu, told one of our correspondents that he was not aware of the development.