Reps to sanction Alison-Madueke over refusal to explain role in oil swap deal

According to reports, the House of Representatives yesterday said it is set to sanction former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who failed to appear before it to explain her role in the controversial oil swap deal worth about $24 billion between 2010 and 2014.

Alison-Maduekwe, who was billed to appear before the lawmakers yesterday, was specifically accused of directing various oil trading companies to swap the nation’s crude oil for refined petroleum products for three years running without contractual agreement.

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When members of the Zakari Mohammed-led House ad-hoc committee probing the operations of the swap programme of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Petroleum Products Marketing Company (NNPC)/PPMC and the benefiting oil companies reconvened yesterday, the absence of Alison-Madueke was palpable for all to see.

Piqued by the development, Mohammed assured that the House of Representatives is now left with no option but to take “appropriate sanction” against Diezani in due course.

He also stated that appropriate sanction awaits the former Managing Director of PPMC, Mr. Haruna Momoh who failed to honour the committee’s invitation to shed light on his role in the controversial deal.

Meanwhile, Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Mr. Tunde Fowler, who turned in his report to the lawmakers, indicted Trafigura Nigeria Limited of tax evasion while the deal lasted.

Represented by Mr. Olayemi Ajayi, Fowler disclosed that Trafigura is “deemed” to be owing the Federal Government a total sum of $642.536,400.47 which it should have remitted as tax payment for a period covering 2010 to 2014.

The details of Trafigura tax liabilities indicate that it failed to pay the sum of $618.7 in 2010, $2.789 million (2011), $2.5 million (2012), $2.492 million (2013) and $2.24 million (2014).

He also stated that the FIRS findings showed that Duke Oil Incorporated, a subsidiary of the NNPC, has a tax liability to the Federal Government to the tune of $4.734,997, 17 cents for the period 2011 to 2014.

In another development, the lawmakers who directed the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to ensure that containers shipped into the country are duly inspected in line with the provision of the law, had issued a summon to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, to appear before the committee to explain the rationale behind the decision to bar the NCS from assessing the contents of oil cargoes imported into the country since 2008.



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