The crisis over discrepancies in remittances to the Federation Account continued yesterday as governors on the platform of the All Progressives Forum (APC), have faulted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the state of the corporation's indebtedness to the national treasury.
The APC governors described the corporation's claim of remittances to the federation account as dishonest.
The NNPC had on Sunday insisted that it was not owing any outstanding monies in reaction to an allegation by the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole that the corporation is owing the FAAC about N2.3trillion. The corporation added that Oshiomhole's accusation was part of a sustained campaign against it and its leadership in recent times.
In a statement by the NNPC's acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ms. Tumini Green, the corporation claimed that Oshiomhole's allegation was aimed at distracting the corporation from the pursuit of the transformation of the oil and gas industry.
But in a joint statement issued in Abuja yesterday, the APC governors chided the NNPC for hoarding relevant information with regards to its remittances.
The APC governors who signed the statement are Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Babatunde Fashola (Lagos); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Kayode Fayemi ( Ekiti); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo); Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Kashim Shettima (Borno), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe) and Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara).
The APC statement reads in part: "Our attention was drawn to the NNPC's denial of debt of N2.3trillion being owed to the Federation Account. The statement, which is credited to Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ms. Tumini E. Green, is to say the least escapist, dishonest, contradictory and in many respects, fraudulent.
"While claiming that NNPC does not owe the Federation Account, "taking into account outstanding subsidies and other associated costs of operations and losses", the NNPC spokesperson claimed that payments have been made consistently into "its Central Bank of Nigeria account".
"At the same time Ms. Green emphatically stated that "not all revenues collected by NNPC are paid directly into the accounts of Federal Allocation with the Central Bank of Nigeria. Some are paid into the accounts of the relevant government agencies, like the Federal Inland Revenue Services and the Department of Petroleum Resources, with the CBN. But eventually, all these payments are credited to the accounts of Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC."
"The question is how much was the revenue collected by NNPC? How much of it was paid to the Federation Account? How much was paid to accounts of other relevant government agencies? How much are credited to FAAC? How much was committed to the payment of so-called outstanding subsidies? What other associated costs of operations and losses incurred and how much?
"Above all, what is the constitutional and legal provisions governing the management of oil revenue? Section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution is unambiguously clear and it has directed that "The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called "the Federation Account" into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja."
"Nowhere in the Constitution has any exception been granted for any collectible revenue outside "proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja" provided. If any other law has empowered the NNPC or any other government body to do otherwise, it is contradictory and to that extent null and void.
"We therefore wish to challenge the NNPC to go beyond hypothetical and generalized statements", he statement said in part".