House opens investigation into 24 Banks, 14 oil companies over $30bn leakage



The House of Representatives joint Committees on Finance and Banking and Currency, which is chaired by Hon. James Faleke and Hon. Victor Nwokolo, is due to open hearings on the role 24 commercial and non-commercial banks as well as 14 international oil companies (IOCs) played in facilitating a whopping annual $30 billion revenue leakage from government accounts.


The oil companies include Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE); Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC); Pan Ocean Oil Nigeria Ltd, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Producing Co Ltd; Esso Exploration and Producing Nigeria Ltd, Mobile Producing Nigeria Ltd; Statoil Company Ltd; Shell Petroleum Development Company; Star Deep Water Petroleum Nigeria Ltd and Total E and P Nigeria Ltd; Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd; Sterling Oil Exploration Energy Ltd; Addax Petroleum Development Co Ltd and Addax Exploration Ltd.


“The banks and the oil companies are to explain their roles in the alleged over $30billion revenue leakages arising from oil revenue interest payment on account of foreign currency dominated contracts by companies in engineering, procurement, construction, installation and marine transportations,” the committees said in a statement; adding the hearings, would be conducted in strict compliance with Covid-19 protocols would be in phases, with the first phase expected to be completed in three weeks.


On March 5, 2020, the House passed a resolution mandating the two committees to carry out the investigation, after lawmakers expressed concern over allegations that the billions of dollars revenue leakages may have been due to tax evasion, malpractices, misuse and diversion of foreign exchange allocations by companies and other entities.


In adopting the motion, the House said it would also investigate the disbursement of foreign exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other agencies to determine the exact amount that the government may have lost in the process.