House Of Reps To Probe Petroleum Minister Ibe Kachikwu
Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu. Image: Guardian Nigeria

The House of Representatives has said it will probe the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu over alleged irregularities in the oil and gas lease renewal.

The lawmaker said this on Thursday at the plenary presided by the Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

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They also said the House will probe the involvement of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on the allegations.

The development followed a motion by Chika Adamu (APC-Niger) who expressed worry that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the DPR were allegedly renewing leases of companies that did not pay royalties to the government from oil and gas lifted.

“The House notes that the Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, in December 2017, observed irregularities in the ongoing renewal of oil and gas leases being undertaken by the Honorable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and the Department of Petroleum Resources,” Adamu said.

“It also notes that the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources is allegedly granting illegal discounts and rebates in the process of the ongoing renewal of leases.

“The House is aware that under the provisions of extant laws, failure to pay royalties is a ground for revocation of leases and a legal barrier to renewal of applicable leases.”

According to him, “It is worried that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Department of Petroleum Resources are allegedly renewing leases of companies that have failed to pay royalties to the government from oil and gas lifted by the said companies, which is in contravention of the extant laws.

“The House is concerned that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Department of Petroleum Resources have deliberately, willfully and brazenly flouted the subsisting legal framework and due process mandated by extant laws for the renewal of leases.”