Abubakar Malami, SAN, Minister of Justice
Abubakar Malami, SAN, Minister of Justice

Recovery of $55bn from IOC: We Only Demanded 5% Payment for Consultancy-Trobell Nigeria

Trobell International Nigeria Limited (Trobell) said it only demanded payment from Federal Government of the agreed remuneration of 5% for additional revenue of $55,871,219,798.00 (less 50% rebate) recovered from contracting oil companies that signed the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs), and are owing the Nigeria huge sums of money from profits of their oil sale.

Trobell, a wholly-owned Nigerian company with principal focus on delivering professional support services in the upstream, midstream and the downstream subsectors of the oil & gas industry, said the sum amounts to $1,396,780,494.95 (VAT exclusive).

But when VAT of $104,758,537.12 at 7.5% is added, the total comes to $1,501,539,032.07.

The Company’s Managing Director (MD), Mr. Thomas Sede, made this known in a statement obtained by PRNigeria, while responding to a publication by The Cable News.

The story titled: “EXCLUSIVE: Malami’s debt collectors’ demand $1.5bn over terminated contract,” was published penultimate Wednesday.

According to Sede, it was out of patriotism that Trobell on 19 January 2017, when Nigeria was in recession and knowing fully well that the contracting oil companies which signed the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) are owing Nigeria these colossal sums of money from profit oil, wrote a proposal to the then Honourable Minister of Finance, to be appointed a lead consultant to recover the money from the International Oil Companies (IOCs).

He said the agencies that were responsible to have recovered this money from the IOCs for reasons best known to them never applied the terms of the governing law to the contracts to collect that money.

“It is pertinent to highlight that the production sharing contracts were both subject and subjected to the Nigeria Laws by all the contracting parties. A clause in the contracts stated that “the governing laws shall be the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

“In effect, the law on the subject is the Production Sharing Act; then a decree effective from 1993. There are very important clauses under this law in Section 16 (1). Section 16 (1) which is in focus here stipulates that “if at any time the price of crude oil exceeds $20 per barrel in real terms, the share of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the additional revenue shall be reviewed to make it more economically advantageous to Nigeria.

“Then the sharing ratios were 80:20 to about 5 oil companies and 70:30 to one of them. Note: the higher percentages in the ratios are to the oil companies while the lower percentages are to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he added.

Sede, further noted that Trobell, being appointed to lead the body set up for this complex assignment worked closely with the Asset Recovery and Management Unit (ARMU) of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

His words: “Trobell’s mandate was to identify the PSCs contracting companies that are affected by the non-application of the Production Sharing Act; Section 16 (1) and determine the amount owed by each company. We wish to clarify that in executing this work, Trobell on its own engaged several Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) and one of the best accounting firms in Nigeria. Beside the Petroleum experts nominated to work with Trobell by the plaintiff states, Trobell also engaged its own Petroleum experts.”

Trobell’s MD, equally pointed out: “There are also speculations in the media that appear to question the fee Trobell will be paid. The better concerns should have been whether the fees agreed with Trobell by the Federal Government of Nigeria is consistent with the country’s recovery standard. Besides, the 5% of the amount recoverable is a little fraction when compared with the 95% due to the Federal Government of Nigeria. We are talking about recovery of over $55b unpaid arrears from crude oil producing companies and the legal steps taken to recover these sums.”

According to him, Trobell constituted its own team of experts in conjunction with the nominees of the plaintiffs states and led the combined team that calculated and worked out the amounts being owed Nigeria by the different contracting oil companies from the dates of production commencement by the different oil companies.

He said Trobbell team underwent arduous task of computing the sums being owed by the companies spanning over the number of years production has been going on at all the production sites covered by the contracts.

By PRNigeria