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APC governors fault NNPC claims about oil earnings

By The Citizen
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Eleven governors on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in a statement on Monday, faulted the claims of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the amount the country had earned from the sales of oil since January this year.

The state executives said that the statement on the figures, which was credited to the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC,  Ms. Tumini Green, was 'escapist, dishonest, contradictory and in many respect fraudulent.'

The governors, who signed the statement were Kashim Shettima (Borno); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Raji Fashola (Lagos); and Tanko Almakura (Nasarawa).

Others were Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe); and Abubakar Yari (Zamfara).

The governors challenged the corporation to tell Nigerians all revenues collected by it and how much was paid into the Federation Account.

However, while claiming that NNPC does not owe the Federation Account, 'taking into account outstanding subsidies and other associated costs of operations and losses,' the NNPC spokesperson added that payments had been made consistently into 'its Central Bank of Nigeria account.'

At the same time Green said that 'not all revenues collected by NNPC are paid directly into the accounts of Federal Allocation with the CBN.  Some are paid into the accounts of the relevant government agencies, like the Federal Inland Revenue Services and the Department of Petroleum Resources with the CBN.

'But eventually, all these payments are credited to the accounts of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee.'

But the governors, under the aegis of the Progressive Governors' Forum, said the NNPC, apart from telling Nigerians how much it collected so far, must also be able to explain how much was paid into the Federation Account.

The governors said, 'How much was paid into the accounts of other relevant government agencies? How much are credited to FAAC?

'How much was committed to the payment of the so-called outstanding subsidies? What other associated costs of operations and losses incurred and how much?

'Above all, what is the constitutional and legal provisions governing the management of oil revenue?'

They called the NNPC's attention to  Section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution, which, they claimed stated that, 'The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called the Federation Account into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for foreign affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.'

The governors also  reminded the NNPC that there was no where in the Constitution where exception was granted for any collectible revenue outside 'proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja' as claimed by the corporation.

They said if there was any other law that empowered the NNPC or any other government body to do otherwise, that would be contradictory and to that extent would remain null and void.