22 March 2014

Nigeria: NLNG Debunks Allegations of Non-Remittance to Federation Account

The management of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) has denied allegations of non-remittance of funds accruing from the company to the Federation Account from 2004 to date which was made against it by the House of Representatives.

The House had on Thursday mandated its Committee on Natural Gas to scrutinise the alleged non-remittance of funds accruing from the NLNG, saying that it was seriously affecting "all critical sectors of the Nigerian economy".

But the NLNG in a press statement yesterday emphasized that it is a private limited liability company incorporated in 1989 and not a government agency or parastatal that remits money into the federation account; and that dividends have been paid to all its shareholders.

It said further that the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) had independently verified the allegations "and in its last report, confirmed that Nigeria LNG Limited had fulfilled all its due obligations".

It said that relevant committees in the Federal House of Representatives in 2009 and 2013 had also similarly reviewed the allegations without any adverse findings against the NLNG.

The NLNG statement signed by Kudo Eresia-Eke (General Manager, External Relations) reads: "Nigeria LNG Limited's attention has been drawn to recent reports in sections of the Nigerian media, on allegations of non remittance of funds to the Federation account by the company from 2004 till date.

"For the sake of clarity, Nigeria LNG Limited is a Private Limited Liability company incorporated in 1989. It is not a government agency or parastatal and its dividend are paid to its shareholders.

"Nigeria LNG Limited's shareholders are NNPC which holds 49% of shareholding, Shell (25.6%), Total LNG (15%) and ENI (10.4%). Nigeria LNG Limited conducts its business in accordance with regulations and Nigerian laws."

While contributing to the debate on the alleged non-remittance of NLNG funds to the federation account on Thursday, Hon. Aminu Suleiman (APC Kano) said Section 162 (1) of the 1999 Constitution makes it mandatory for all revenue collected by the Government of the Federation to be remitted into the Federation Account.

He elaborated that Section 162 (10) of the constitution defines revenue as "any income or return accruing to or derived by the government of the federation".

The source of this, according to Suleiman, includes any receipt, howsoever described arising from the operation of any law; any return, howsoever described, arising from or in respect of any property held by the Government of the Federation; and any receipt by way of interest on loans and dividends in respect of shares or interest held by the Government of the Federation in any company or statutory body.

"But NLNG Bonny, in flagrant disobedience and breach of Section 162 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, has not remitted funds accruing to it to the Federation Account form 2004 to date," said Suleiman.

This development, he added, "has adversely affected the Federation Account to the detriment of federal, states and local governments".

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