1 February 2013

Nigeria: NEITI - NNPC Withholds N1.95 Trillion in Three Years

Photo: Vanguard
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation cartoon.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owes the federation N1.95 trillion in oil and gas transactions it supervised between 2009 and 2011, a report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.

Presenting the highlights of the Financial Audit for the period, NEITI Chairman, Ledum Mitee, said yesterday that the amount include N1.305 trillion trade debts within the 90 days permissible period and the $4.84 billion (about N653.44billion) Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas dividends received but not remitted to the federation account by the NNPC.

The amount is almost half of the Federal Government's N4.9 trillion budget for 2013.

The 2009-2011 audit was conducted by a local audit firm, Sada Idris and Co.

"NNPC owes N1.305 trillion to the federation Account as at 31st December, 2011. This is a trade debt. This is because the sum of N928billion falls within the 90 days permissible period leaving a balance of N377 billion which the NNPC is currently paying instalmentally to the federation account," Mitee said.

This is not the first time a NEITI report indicted the NNPC. In its last three audits, NNPC reportedly owed the government billions of naira.

"Another important revelation of the report is that financial flows from NLNG include dividends and repayment of loans of which an amount of $4.84 billion was received by NNPC. The report confirmed that these amounts have not been remitted neither to the CBN/NNPC JP Morgan Account nor the federation account," the report added.

The report also accused NNPC of withdrawing subsidy payments directly from domestic crude sales proceeds before remittances to the federation account. The auditor said the practice was contrary to the Petroleum Support Fund which stipulated that all qualified oil marketing companies should get their subsidy reimbursements through the PPPRA.

"As a result, a sum of N1.40 trillion was claimed during the period by NNPC as oil subsidy payments. According to the report, subsidy payments claimed by the NNPC increased by 110%. For example it rose from N198 billion in 2009 to N416 billion in 2010. In 2011 alone it rose to N786 billion. The increase between 2009 and 2011 alone was 186 percent".

When contacted, NNPC spokesman, Dr Omar Farouk, said the corporation was yet to officially receive the new report.

He said the corporation would have to obtain the report and study it before reacting.

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