Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: U.S.$49.8 Billion Oil Revenue - Leadership Writes CBN, NNPC, NASS

As the drama over the unremitted crude oil revenue by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) continues to unfold, LEADERSHIP has invoked the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011, to obtain information from the National Assembly (NASS), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NNPC, to clarify the position of things.

LEADERSHIP, in the letter to the president of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, also requested copies of reports of all previous public hearings on the oil and gas industry by the Upper House.

The request was made in view of the fact that several committees of the House of Representatives had in the past conducted public hearings into various aspects of the NNPC operations.

In a related letter to the speaker of the House of Representatives, LEADERSHIP requested copies of reports of all previous public hearings on the oil and gas industry by the Honourable House.

The media house also commended the Senate for steps already taken to commence a public hearing on the issue, and the House of Representatives for inaugurating a 17-member ad-hoc committee, chaired by Hon. Bashir Adamu, to probe oil theft in the country.

From the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, LEADERSHIP has asked for a copy of his correspondence with the NNPC and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, as well as to have him (Sanusi) confirm whether or not he is still standing by his original position.

In the letter written to the NNPC, which was received on Thursday December 19, 2013, LEADERSHIP requested such documents as the audited group accounts of the corporation in the last five years, audited accounts of all subsidiaries of NNPC over the last five years and details of remedial measures taken by the NNPC in response to all audits of the oil and gas sector conducted under the auspices of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) since 1999.

LEADERSHIP also sought to know steps that the NNPC is taking to improve transparency and accountability to stakeholders.

Recall that a letter to President Jonathan by the CBN governor alleged the non-remittance of $49.8billion to the Federation Account by the NNPC.

In view of the public outrage that greeted the claim, LEADERSHIP devoted a front-page comment to the issue in its Monday, December 16, 2013 edition, in which it promised its readers that it would not relent until satisfactory explanations were in the public domain.

In addition, the media house called on the NASS to commence impeachment proceedings against President Jonathan, if there was no satisfactory response by him one week after publishing the editorial.

While all the letters have been received by the various institutions, LEADERSHIP is still awaiting their responses and hopes that they will comply within seven days, as stipulated by the FOI Act 2011.

"We look forward to your response to this letter to facilitate the discharge of our constitutional role as a media organisation, as enshrined in section 22 of chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)," the newspaper wrote.

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