Nigerian lawmakers set up committee to probe state oil company

Nigerian legislators have set up a committee to investigate allegations of corruption in the country’s state oil company.

A letter from the Minister of State Petroleum Resources Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu to President Muhammadu Buhari said the conduct of the head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) lacked transparency.

Kachikwu said recent appointments by NNPC’s group managing director Maikantu Baru should be suspended pending review. He accused Baru of bypassing the board of directors.

Nigeria’s Senate on Thursday passed a motion to form a committee that would investigate the allegations.

“The motion highlighted the fact that Duke Oil, one of the outfits that makes up NNPC Trading was incorporated in 1989 in Panama and does not pay tax in Nigeria,” a statement issued by Senate president Bukola Saraki said.

The statement also referred to allegations that Duke Oil had received favourable treatment that gave it an advantage over competitors.

The Senate has constituted this ad-hoc committee to investigate the policies introduced by the current GMD of NNPC to allocate all products to Duke Oil and carry out a holistic investigation into the activities of NNPC Trading Limited,” it said.

Nigeria has over the past months struggled with low oil prices, and suffered cuts in output caused by militant attacks carried out by the Niger Delta group, as well as ageing infrastructure.