The National Assembly has threatened to arrest chief executives of international oil companies working in Nigeria over unpaid debts.
According to reports, the threat was issued by a House of Representatives panel after the ‘oil bosses’ failed to appear before it to defend themselves on the billions of naira debts allegedly owed to the Nigerian government.
Chairman of the panel Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya noted that during the hearing held at the National Assembly, the major oil companies such as Oando, Total, MRS, Forte Oil and NIPCO sent their lawyers to represent them instead of their chief executive officers and this nonchalant attitude of the oil companies was unbecoming.
He said the Reps would be left with no option than to invoke their constitutional powers on arrest, if the attitude of the international oil companies do not change.
Before we started this investigation, what we did as a committee was to sit down to digest and see the best way out. Fortunately for us, so far, we have uncovered a lot of money, huge amount of money.
We called PPMC to give us information on the outstanding of oil marketers and they provided the details. We then sent letters to 17 oil marketers to send in documents and tell us their own side of the story.
We also requested that they come and defend it, but instead of doing that, they are sending representatives. Why are they sending persons that are not part of their organizations?