A board member, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Senator Magnus Abbe, has endorsed the revoking and handing over of four Oil Mining Leases, OMLs to Kaztech/Slavic Consortium.
The Senator, who is also Chairman, Inter-Ministerial Committee established by the government to review and propose measures targeted at activating the dormant $1 billion Kaztec Engineering Limited Yard in Lagos, said DPR has the mandate to revoke the OMLs OML 123, 124, 126, and 137, which previously belonged to Addax Petroleum Exploration Nigeria Limited.
In a statement obtained by Vanguard, Senator Abbe, said: "For the avoidance of doubt, I recently headed a Presidential Inter-Ministerial Committee made up of technocrats from several federal ministries and departments to advise the President on the plight of an indigenous engineering and technology Kaztec Engineering limited.
"The committee was set up by presidential directive conveyed by the Chief of staff to the President. There is nothing in the committee assignment that involved the allocation of oil blocks. Nigerians, however need to know that Kaztec Engineering Limited, a local company was awarded contracts worth over 650million dollars by Addax petroleum to develop the oil fields operated by Addax petroleum.
"In 2015 the Federal Government under President Buhari in keeping with its anti-corruption agenda accused Addax of tax atrocities which resulted in substantial losses to the federal government. Addax was asked to pay, in response they declared a force majeure on their exploration activities and cancelled their investments in the oil fields.
"The Nigerian company Kaztec that has invested of 650million dollars in the project with Addax was forced to bear the brunt of the entire dispute, which was actually between Addax petroleum and the Nigerian government.
"Over three thousand workers were laid off, equipment, vessels, and a fabrication yard worth billions of Naira borrowed from Nigerian banks were laid waste. Nigerians must look beyond the needless sensationalism and ask the hard questions that need to be answered."
Continuing, he said: "Is it Addax the company that was accused of tax fraud, and abandoned its Nigerian investments for over 10years or the Department of Petroleum Resources that tried to hold them to account for the economic damages they were inflicting on the Nigerian oil economy, not withholding investments at a time when the nation is in dire need?. For the avoidance of doubt, the Kaztec committee was not set up by the Minister of Petroleum to award any oil block neither is the place of the NNPC to award or revoke oil mining licenses.
"The committee report focused exclusively on measures and reliefs which the government can legally extend to the company to salvage the heartbreaking and tragic losses to an indigenous company. There is absolutely no scam on oil blocks, or contracts involved in the Kaztec committee report."
He added: "Issues of revocation, allocation and management of oil blocks are exclusively the preserve of the Department of Petroleum Resources. In the light of the abandonment of the oil blocks, the lack of investment in the field, the colossal losses to the Nigerian economy by the actions of Addax. DPR was right to recommend a revocation of the mining leases issued to Addax in the National interest. Those who have contrary interest can pursue their interest without destroying our nation's economy. Nigeria should not be held hostage by any foreign company."