The House of Representatives Committee on Finance yesterday grilled several insurance companies managing the $46 billion offshore assets of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) against the backdrop of over $329.4 million insurance premium and claims allegedly inflated by some insurance companies contracted to insure the state-run corporation.
Also, the Dakuku Peterside-led Lower House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) has queried the selection criteria for oil marketers participating in the federal government Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
The finance committee queried unpaid payments of backlog of insurance claims owed Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) by NICON Insurance worth N12.3 billion over the past four years.
The lawmakers are probing unpaid insurance claims worth $12 million due to the NNPC between 2007 to 2011.
The developments are fallouts of the separate inquest by the Lower House into the insurance of government assets and property and the activities of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund.
At the resumed Lower House inquest into the activities of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, Peterside said there was a need to review the criteria for participation in the fund in view of the apparent lack of capacity displayed by many oil marketers interrogated by the Committee.
PEF is a scheduled parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources established mainly to administer uniform prices of petroleum products throughout the country.
Peterside expressed outrage over the failure of oil marketers summoned to provide the Committee with necessary documents relating to bridging claims, an action he said amounted to defrauding Nigeria of its revenue.
“It is unfortunate that we do not take ourselves seriously in this country, if not, how can you (referring to summoned oil marketer) claim not to have benefited from the PEF without adequate supporting documents?
“Contrary to documents before us, most of you claimed not have received bridging claims from PEF, rather what most of you are telling us is that you have been remitting your dues as prescribed by the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) but where are the documents to back your assertions?” Peterside queried.
On the NNPC insurance accounts, Managing Director of Leadway Assurance Ltd, Oye Odukale disclosed in his presentation that NNPC has $70 million claims delayed by slow documentation and an additional $100 million that it has not been fully advised on.
Meanwhile the House of Representatives has mandated the committees on Petroleum Resources and Special Duties to investigate the activities of Orient Petroleum Resources Plc and the encroachment of Anambra State into some parts of Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State and report to the House within 4 weeks.
The lawmakers took this decision after debating a motion brought to the floor by Ismail Inah Hussain on the need to investigate the activities of oil companies and the encroachment of Anambra State into some parts of Ibaji Local Government Area of the state.
Leading the debate, Hussein noted the activities of Orient Petroleum Resources Plc in some communities in the state since June, 2011, with activities ranging from surveying, drilling, seismic data recording to laying of pipes which occupies sizeable portions of the affected communities farmlands and ancestral worship places.