Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nigeria Missing Money: Oil Company Accused Of Withdrawing $1.2B, All Progressives Congress Calls For Probe

Billions of dollars were believed to have gone missing under former President Goodluck Jonathan's watch. Photo: Jonathan waves to people after the handover to incoming President Muhammadu Buhari at Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria, May 29, 2015. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotund

The All Progressives Congress (APC) was calling on the Nigerian government to investigate missing dividends that were reportedly paid to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNCP) by the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas company. On Wednesday, the party’s publicity secretary, Lai Mohammad, said the call has become more urgent amid new reports showing NNCP, Nigeria’s state oil company, has withdrawn $1.2 billion dollars from banks and transferred that amount into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian newspaper Premium Times reported.

The statement alleged that NNPC moved the money amid following recent corruption allegations over the whereabouts of more than $4 billion. "Now that the cat has been let out of the bag, they have started moving the funds from the banks to the CBN. We believe what we are seeing now is just a tip of the iceberg, hence the need for the authorities to call the NNPC officials to give accounts of the paid NLNG dividends to date," APC said, according to Premium Times.

The party said a slow reaction to an investigation into the missing funds would provide the involved parties time to cover their actions. The APC said officials must immediately investigate the motivation behind the withdrawal of funds and the whereabouts of commissions that were paid.

NNPC has been accused of stealing billions of dollars in the last three years of President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency, the International Business Times reported. The national oil company generated more than 40 billion dollars from 2012 to 2015, yet reportedly paid the government only a little over half of that. Of what was left, the NNCP allegedly spent illegally without approval from the government. In the past, APC members tried to push Jonathan to investigate missing oil money. 

Former president Jonathan’s administration was notoriously corrupt, as billions of dollars went missing during his time as leader. APC said it was no coincidence these revelations have not come out until the election of current president Muhammadu Buhari, who is a member of APC.

"A situation in which funds meant for all Nigerians are eaten up by a few will no longer be tolerated. Those who are opposed to the efforts by the Buhari Administration to clear the rot left behind by the past government and restore transparency to the system are enemies of Nigeria," the party said, according to the Premium Times.

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