13 December 2013

Nigeria: CBN Refuses to Confirm Sanusi's Letter to Jonathan

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it "will neither confirm nor deny the existence" of a letter written to President Goodluck Jonathan by its governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi alleging unremitted revenue of $49.8 billion (N8 trillion) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the federation account.

A statement issued by the CBN director of corporate communications Ugochukwu A. Okoroafor said the matter is gathering momentum and getting politicised.

Okoroafor said the CBN will not issue further statements on the matter while urging the general public to desist from "unnecessary politicization of a technical matter."

The CBN said in performance of its role, it was natural to "be concerned at the level of accretion to reserves and the Excess Crude Account in spite of strong international oil prices," a concern shared by the president and the ministry of finance.

"The CBN is aware that on the instruction of the honourable minister of petroleum resources, the audit firm, PwC has been directed to audit the revenue of the NNPC," it said.

Okoroafor said the CBN "recognizes that there is an urgent need to review fiscal terms of sharing revenues between the government and the oil companies and to improve governance and transparency in the official oil sector," which underlines the need to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill.

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