Nigeria: Reps to Investigate U.S.$1.05 Billion 'Illegal Withdrawals' From NLNG Account

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate "illegal withdrawals" from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

This decision followed a motion moved by the House's minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, on Tuesday, in which he accused the NNPC of illegally withdrawing about $1.05 billion from NLNG funds.

Mr Elumelu said "only the Group Managing Director and the corporation's financial officer had knowledge of how the money was spent."

He added that the NNPC management "illegally tampered" with the said amount without consultations with states and the appropriation by the National Assembly.

"There was no transparency in this extra-budgetary spending, as only the Group Managing Director and the corporation's chief financial officer had the knowledge of how the $1.05bn was spent," he said.

"There are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account," he noted.

He said the withdrawals breach the law which provides that the NLNG dividends are to be paid into the consolidated revenue funds account and shared among the three tiers of government.

The House adopted Mr Elumelu's motion thereafter, mandating its committee on public accounts to invite the managements of NNPC and NLNG "to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that have taken place on the dividends account and report back to the house in four weeks."

The NLNG is a limited liability company incorporated in 1989 and jointly owned by the federal government with 49 per cent shares, with the NNPC as the FG's representative on the company's board.

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