The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has offered to provide details of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Dividends Account from 1999 till date to give the Senate and the general public a comprehensive insight into the operations of the account.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this at the hearing of Senate Committee on Gas which has been mandated to probe the alleged unauthorized disbursement from the account to support importation of petroleum products to avert scarcity.
Baru insisted that there was need to take a holistic look at the NLNG Dividends Account from inception rather than a limited view from 2015 as requested by the Senate Committee. He futher said the corporation was ready to provide details of operations of the account in terms of revenues and withdrawal mandates form 1999 till date.
Where withdrawals made without approval?
At the heart of this controversy is the allegation that the management of the NNPC withdrew billions of dollars from NLNG Accounts without following due process. In other words, they acted solely without obtaining the necessary approvals from the appropriate quarters.
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Bassey Akpan, had asked officials from both the NNPC and the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide documents detailing the various withdrawals which were supposedly made between 2016 and 2018.
Why did the NNPC withdraw the money?
The Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) used parts of the NLNG funds for the purpose of fuel importation. The upper chamber had last month commenced an inquiry into a $3.5 billion fund that was supposedly expended by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for the purpose of petrol importation.
NLNG is NNPC’s joint venture with a number of foreign oil companies including ENI, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA. The company produces liquified natural gas for exportation purposes.