By Bola Kougbe
Minister (State) of Petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Ikachukwu, Thursday, has stated that Nigeria has reached a deal to pay $5.1 billion in unpaid bills to oil majors, including Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil.
Kachikwu said the agreed amount, which is $1.7 billion less than the total amount owed would be paid without interest within five years.
Moreso, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has amassed a total of $6.8 billion in unpaid bills up to December 2015, so-called cash calls, that it was obliged to pay under joint ventures with Western oil firms, with which it explores for and produces oil.
The petroleum minister noted there is at least $2.5 billion in additional debt that has accrued in 2016 that it is still working to repay. He added that payment will be in the form of crude oil cargoes according to arrangement, but only when Nigeria’s production exceeds 2.2 million barrels