14 February 2013

Nigeria: Reps Move to Compel NNPC to Remit Withheld Revenue

The House Committee on Finance has disclosed that it would compel the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to remit outstanding Internally Generated Funds(IGR) to the federal government.

Matching words with action, the lawmakers yesterday directed the NNPC whose management, led by the group managing director, Andrew Yakubu, met with the committee, to give express access to the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) to scrutinise its records on internally generated revenue (IGR) from 2009 to 2012.

The AGF had complained of restriction to access the records of the NNPC. The committee noted that the oil corporation has been flaunting the Fiscal Responsibility Act, having generated IGR of N2 trillion in 2009, N1 trillion in 2010, N1.9 trillion in N2011 and as at July 2012, had generated N259b but nothing was remitted to the FG's purse.

Defending the company, the GMD, Yakubu, said the organisation does not make profits after its transactions and has been operating at a loss, operating on its own account and forced by circumstances to operate in a challenging business environment.

"For instance, we have to buy crude at commercial rates but have to sell at regulated prices, as such it is difficult to generate profit and that is why we have difficulties in remitting to the CRF.

"Also, the cost of generating that IGR is more than the IGR because we spend more to produce the products from where we generate the profits as we incur additional cost to produce those products. Also, we lose nothing less than N600m per week to vandalism, and that is also beyond our control". He added that subsidy on petrol was contributory to the inability of the corporation to remit funds to the consolidated revenue fund .

Responding to the restriction as alleged by the AGF, Yakubu said the allegation was 'embarrassing' because the NNPC has never denied any agency access to its records.

He assured the committee that the request would not be rejected.

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