The long-drawn battle between the National Assembly and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the non-remittance of internally generated revenue (IGR) took a new turn Monday as the House Committee on Finance ordered NNPC to pay N142.7 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The amount comprises N78.69 billion which accrued to government out of a total revenue of N6 trillion generated by NNPC and its subsidiaries between 2009 and 2011.
The balance of N64 billion is the amount that accrued to the Federal Government from the operations of NNPC between January and June last year.
The directive came the same day the Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to explain the discrepancies in the revenue generated and remitted by the Customs Service to the Federation Account in 2007.
The House Committee on Finance expressed frustration at the refusal of the NNPC to remit revenue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund and has therefore summoned the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, to appear before the committee on Tuesday next week.
Similarly, the committee has summoned the 17 subsidiaries of NNPC to appear before it to render an account of the revenue they have generated but withheld in contravention of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The subsidiaries, including the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG), have been directed to appear at 10 am next Monday.
Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Abdulmumuni Jibrin, who gave the order Monday expressed dismay that since the House embarked on the current exercise to compel revenue generating agencies to remit revenue to government coffers, NNPC had remained adamant and not shown any intention of complying with the rules.
Jibrin disclosed that due to the challenges posed by NNPC, the committee had to set up a technical committee to scrutinise the books of the oil corporation, but even that did not help matters.
"Our biggest challenge has been NNPC, but as a committee, we have resolved that whatever we have to do within the confines of the law, NNPC must be made to pay the money.
"We have said it before that NNPC has never remitted anything from its IGR to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. In 2009, the corporation made N2.048 trillion as its internally generated revenue.
"It made N2.155 trillion in 2010, while it realised the sum of N1.9 trillion in 2011. By July of 2012, the corporation made N259 billion as internally generated revenue but in all these years, the corporation remitted nothing to the Consolidated Revenue Fund as demanded by law.
"We set up a technical committee comprising some members of this committee and directed NNPC to throw open her books for scrutiny.
"On the first day, our members were shut out of the complex and refused access to the records up till this moment but we persisted and eventually we were able to scrutinise the books through some other means," he said.
According to Jibrin, four subsidiaries of NNPC whose accounts are denominated in dollars, also have a backlog of over $16 million internally generated revenue which ought to have been remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
He explained that the companies, namely: Calson (Bermuda) Limited, NAPOIL Limited, Wheel Insurance Limited and Duke Oil Services made total profits of $20 million during the period under review and were supposed to have remitted $16 million or 80 per cent of their operating surplus.
He also disclosed that another offshore subsidiary of NNPC, Duke Oil Service, United Kingdom, made a profit of £107,545 and ought to have paid £86,036 to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The committee, Jibrin said, would not allow NNPC to continue to flout the rules of the game.
He said that the committee would stop at nothing to make the oil corporation remit the funds as stipulated by law.
Also, the Public Account Committee of the House Monday asked CBN, FIRS and NCS to explain the discrepancies in the revenue generated and remitted by the Customs Service to the Federation Account in 2007.
The committee has also raised questions on the delay in the remittance of N14.210 billion, being import duty collected and lodged into CBN Port Harcourt branch by the Customs Area Command in Port Harcourt.
The money was said to have been collected in August 2006 but was not transferred to the Federation Account until January 2007.
Chairman, House Committee, Public Accounts, Hon. Solomon Adeola, who gave the order, said the audit examination of the records maintained for the Federation Account at the Customs Service, revealed that the total amount generated and remitted by the service for 2007 was N233.430 billion, while the total amount received by FAAC was N241.366 billion.
The agencies are expected to explain what became of the difference of N7.935 billion.
According to Adeola, the discrepancy implied that the actual amount of revenue generated and remitted by the NCS was less than the amount presented to FAAC for sharing by the three tiers of government.
A committee comprising the Deputy Governor of the CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo; acting Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Mashi; and the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla; has been mandated to work with some members of the public accounts committee to resolve the issue.