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NNPC gets reprieve in controversial $49.8bn oil revenue

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IMAGE: Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi »



Controversy over the alleged unremitted $49.8 billion crude oil revenues by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC)was laid to rest on Wednesday as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala indicated that the alleged missing sum has been accounted for.

Okonjo-Iweala observed that the preliminary findings of the joint reconciliation exercise revealed clearly that the said purportedly missing crude oil proceeds were not missing but intact and in the system.

Okonjo-Iweala spoke at a joint press conference in Abuja which had in attendance the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu.

She said “What we have done so far shows that for the $49.8billion, and that’s the first point we want to make, there are some perhaps misconceptions or misunderstandings that led to this number and we have been able to come to the conclusion that we can account for this amount”.

She further stated that this conclusion was reached after a closer and extensive scrutiny of the books by all parties involved.

“I just want to say that this reconciliation is still an ongoing matter, but we thought at this point in time, after working last night, that we could share with you some of our thoughts and clarifications on this issue. And that is why we are here to resolve this and get to the bottom of this,’’ she said.

“So the bulk of the sum of $49billion has been accounted for and that is what the reconciliation exercise is about. So it is very clear that this is not missing’’.

In his presentation, CBN governor, Sanusi blamed the controversy on the leakage of the letter which was sent to the President, which, according to him, was not designed for public consumption.

“It is the first time I am speaking about this matter in the public,I think it is important to give a little context. First of all it is important to remember that the CBN never issued a public statement or a press statement in this matter. The CBN wrote a letter to the President which unfortunately found its way to the press and that letter was at best an invitation to begin investigation.

“ It was not an end or a conclusion of an audit or investigation. Conclusions drawn before investigation were premature,’’ he said.

He said the CBN was written to address what it perceived as a gap between what it had in its records as the value of crude shipped by the NNPC and the amount repatriated as equity to the Federation Account.

“What we had in our records was $65billion shipped by NNPC and about $15billion returned as equity to the Federation Account,’’ he said.

Sanusi said the reconciliation meetings have provided a clearer picture of the transactions to the apex bank.

“We now know that out of the $65billion that NNPC shipped, $24billion did not belong to NNPC, it was crude that was paid by oil companies as tax and royalties and shipment for them from NPDC and so on,’’.

He observed that the ongoing joint reconciliation exercise would help resolve and explain the outstanding issues.

Alison-Madueke for her part observed that the robust reconciliation meetings over the last few days had revealed a very clear understanding, and most part of the said amount has been accounted for.

“There is a shortfall as mentioned but it has been known for quite some time. It is an open record in FAAC and has been discussed severally. It has been acknowledged by NNPC but the extent of the shortfall has also been disputed by NNPC for some time and so we have an ongoing reconciliation effort on that particular shortfall’’, she said.


Article Credit: BusinessDay Newspapper

Updated 5 Years ago

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