The House of Representatives has issued a summon on the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over the alleged non-remittance of $19.25bn (about N3.24 trillion) revenue that accrued from sales of crude oil in 2014.
The summons were issued by the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Wole Oke, during the investigative hearing into the audit queries issued by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation for the period under review.
This new development comes barely 10 days after the NNPC GMD was accused by the committee of refusing to honour its invitation to respond to an audit query issued against the corporation over the alleged illegal withdrawal of $20.3 billion from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited’s Dividends Account.
According to a report from Punch, the details of the query from the OAuGF observed that from the “examination of NNPC mandates to CBN on Domestic Crude Oil Sales and Reconciliation Statement of Technical Committee of Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting held in January 2014, that a total sum of N3,234,577,666,791.35 was not remitted to the Federation Account by NNPC within the period under review.”
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The OAuGF further findings states, “Cost estimated for crude and product losses was N55,964,682,158.99, which is about 50% of pipeline management cost of N110,402,541,010.88. Names of contractors, location and amount paid to each for the pipeline maintenance were not sighted for audit verification.’’
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While stating that all these deductions at source by NNPC were not approved by Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), the OAuGF asked the Accountant General of the Federation to inform the NNPC’s GMD to explain the glaring non-remittance of domestic crude oil sales revenue by the corporation as there has not been any positive response on similar issues raised in 2012.
As a result of this, the Accountant-General of the Federation requested the GMD of NNPC to make available for verification, names of the contractors, location, the amount paid to each for the pipeline maintenance.
It also asked that the process being used by Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for the repayment of subsidy to the oil marketers should be used for NNPC, instead of the corporation deducting the subsidy at source, which it has frowned at and wants an end to the practice.
This move by the House of Representatives is seen as part of measures to ensure the implementation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which seeks to provide for the prudent management of the country’s resources.
This is also happening at a time where most of the revenue-generating agencies are accused of withholding a large chunk of their revenue for themselves.