By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) alleged on Friday that a security agency, working with unauthorized private individuals, was forcing international oil companies in Nigeria to remit their mandatory three per cent levies belonging to the commission to a private account in the United Kingdom.

The Corporate Affairs Director of the commission, Charles Odili, described the development as a clear case of illegality.

Odili said only the NDDC should collect its revenue and not through any agency. The Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy, according to him, stipulates that revenue due to any government agency should  be paid to the agency’s account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He did not name the security agency.

Odili said: “This is an alarming development and a clear case of illegality by elements within that security agency. We wish to state that the law setting up NDDC does not provide for the collection of its revenue by any agency other than the Commission.

“Secondly, extant rules, particularly the Treasury Single Account (TSA) regime, mean that all revenue due to any agency of government can only be paid to that agency’s account in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“The Niger Delta Development Commission wishes to alert the general public and all stakeholders that it has not authorized any security agency to collect remittances on its behalf. Such payments and or remittances shall never count as statutory payments to the NDDC.

“Accordingly, any oil company, invited on such purposes should insist on payment of any such sum to the NDDC account with the Central Bank of Nigeria but not to any other agency’s account.

“Any security agency wishing to recover unremitted funds from the IOCs or oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region should do so in collaboration with the management of the NDDC and such refunds should be directed into the accounts of the NDDC with the Central Bank of Nigeria, but not otherwise

“Any oil company coerced to make such payments should report same immediately to Mr. Clever Okoro, Director, Legal Services, of the Commission.”

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