Rep. Kuye lamented that Nigeria bled revenue of over USD 30 billion in signature bonuses, reserve values, and assignment fees of 43 oil blocks where merging oil companies operate.
The House of Representatives has vowed to probe and recover over $30 billion in accrued fees and bonuses from mergers of multinational oil companies.
This followed the adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Ademorin Kuye (APC, Lagos) at plenary on Wednesday.
Debating the motion, Kuye noted that the oil industry experienced several lateral mergers/buyovers/takeovers of companies in the same oil and gas exploration, prospecting, production, and marketing in the ‘90s.
He also noted that Section 2 of the Petroleum Act 2014 extant law applicable under which the merger took place provided that the oil exploration licenses, oil prospecting Licenses, and oil mining licenses may be granted to only Nigerian Citizens or Companies incorporated in Nigeria.
According to him, the June 1984 merger of Gulf and Chevron which brought Chevron through the back door to inherit Gulf oil operations in the country, was not approved until July 1991, after careful consideration and bargaining that still shortchanged the country of over $65 million as at that time.
“The other mergers between Exxon and Mobil to form ExxonMobil; Elf, Total and Fina to form Total FinaElf, and between Chevron and Texaco to form ChevronTexaco, have resulted in new entities and companies that should have been subjected to processes.
“The mergers while increasing assets of Foreign Oil Multinationals in the country, resulted in the layoff of hundreds of Nigerian Professionals and brought some companies through the back door e.g Exxon and Fina were not physically present in Nigeria in their registered names and identities.
“It is concerning that the proper sign-on of the oil block inherited as assets was not done, thus costing the country hundreds of millions of dollars in signature bonuses and reserve value payments that should have been paid.”
Kuye further lamented that the country bled revenue of over USD 30 billion in signature bonuses, reserve values, and assignment fees of 43 oil blocks where merging companies operate.
The motion was unanimously adopted when the presiding officer Speaker Tanjudeen Abbas put the question.