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Lawmakers investigate NNPCLtd joint venture deals, secret account

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THE House of Representatives has commenced investigation into the structure and accountability of the Joint Venture (JV) business and production sharing contracts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the investigation, Hassan Fulata, Wednesday said the investigation of the Joint Venture Business and Production Contract of the NNPC begins from 1990 till date.

According to Fulata, the probe became imperative as some NNPC accounts did not follow due process.

He said his committee had discovered a secret account owned by the NNPC Ltd., alleging that the Federal Government did not follow due process in opening these accounts.

In a swift reaction at the investigative hearing, Okolieaboh Sylva, the Acting Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), who appeared before the Committee, denied the government’s knowledge of such a secret account.

The office of the AGF, Total Energy, Shell Petroleum Company and Chevron were all present to answer questions.

The committee, however, invited other relevant heads of government and corporate agencies and companies such Seplat Oil and Gas and Newcross Oil and Gas to appear before it on Sept 27.

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The lawmakers insisted they must appear in person, warning that the National Assembly would not hesitate to invoke the relevant constitutional privilege should any of the heads of the agencies fail to honour its invitation.

The ICIR findings showed further that the committee mandate is to establish whether such ventures followed due process.

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Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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