Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nigeria: Petroleum Corporation denies diversion of US$49.8 billion oil proceeds

Nigeria's oil giant, NNPC - Nigeria’s oil giant, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Friday faulted claims by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that it failed to remit a total sum US$ 49.8 billion accrued revenue from crude oil sales to the coffers of the Federal Government.

NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, told journalists in Abuja that the processes of remittances into government coffers was not hidden and that the claims of the CBN governor cannot be explained on the altar of ignorance.

Yakubu said that as the government banker, the CBN Governor is part of the statutory body that reconciles all payments due to the Federal Government.

The report by the CBN Governor has elicited wide reaction in the country with the House of Representatives, which is dominated by opposition lawmakers, constituting a panel to investigate the alleged diversion of funds.

But the NNPC boss said: “We are taken aback by the comment of the CBN governor because most of our operations are multi-agencies transactions. All agencies involved meet regularly where reconciliation is done and lifting numbers are agreed to jointly and are signed off before the lifting of our crude oil.

'Operations at the terminals that have to do with loading is also done by all the agencies particularly and is championed and driven by all the regulatory agencies who are the arbiters of numbers.

'And they superintend over all the operations. So, NNPC is not a sole player in the entire business of the oil and gas value chain.

“Our functions are purely professional. We are surprised an issue that was clarified by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, about four months ago is re-surfacing now at this time that the political atmosphere is charged.

Yakubu stressed that the financial inner workings of the oil industry dictates that the CBN, NNPC, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) meet regularly to reconcile liftings, sales and remittances of proceeds and that the data presented are jointly reconciled by CBN, NNPC FIRS and DPR.

Against insinuations that its accounts are not audited, the NNPC helmsman stated: “The audit of the NNPC was ordered by the Minister of Petroleum Resources a couple of months ago and I can confirm here that the audit process is on-going.

And against the figure of 1.287 billion barrels that the CBN claimed were recorded between 1 January 2012 and 31 July 2013, the NNPC said the actual figure is higher at 1.330 billion barrels.

Yakubu hinted that the total liftings during the same period was also higher at 618,552 million barrels as against the 594,024 million barrels as stated by the CBN.

The NNPC chief explained: “The proceeds from the total NNPC liftings comprising Federation Equity, Royalty Oil, Tax Oil, Volume for Third Party finance and NPDC equity amount to US$ 67.12 billion as against the US$ 65.33 billion stated. NNPC remitted its portion, which is US$ 18.48 billion (27.5%) into the Federation Account being the total proceeds from Equity Crude and gas sales of which CBN acknowledged receipt of US$ 15.528billion (24%).

'At this point, we wish to categorically state that all the proceeds from NNPC have been remitted as statutorily required.'

On the issue of US$ 49.8 bilion or 76% of total national liftings and the alleged unremitted funds, 'we would like to clarify that this represents the balance of other streams as stated above.”

Pana 13/12/2013

No comments:

Post a Comment