OIL companies operating in the Niger Delta are owing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over $4bn, the Federal Government has said.
Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Tayo Alasoadura, said the debt owed the NDDC had been accumulating over a long period of time.
“International oil companies are expected to pay 3% of their annual budget to NDDC as their major income but they have been defaulting for a long period of time. Efforts are being made to get the outstanding payments which are up to $4 billion from them. All of them are owing,” he said.
It was not clear what potential enforcement mechanisms might be available to the NDDC or the government.
Asked to respond to Alasoadura’s remarks, a spokesman for ExxonMobil said, “ExxonMobil complies with all governmental laws, rules and regulations applicable to its operations within and outside the United States.”
Spokespersons for Anglo-Dutch firm Shell and for Italy’s Eni said they would send responses later, while Chevron did not immediately respond.