Don't politicise $49.8bn diverted revenue, CBN warns

By The Citizen

The Central Bank of Nigeria has warned against the politicisation of the alleged diverted revenue of $49.8bn by the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation.

An online news medium, SaharaReporters, had reported on Monday that the Governor of the CBN, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, had written to President Goodluck Jonathan to complain about the failure of the NNPC to remit the said amount to the Federation Account in contravention of extant laws.

He was reported to have said the amount represented 76 per cent of the value of crude oil lifting during the period.

The complaints are contained in the letter to the President dated September 25, 2013.

However, the corporation on Tuesday refuted  the claims that it diverted the said amount, adding that the allegation by the CBN governor was borne out of misunderstanding of the workings of the oil and gas industry and the modality for remitting crude oil sales revenue into the Federation Account.

But the apex bank, in a statement on Thursday by the Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor, said while it would neither confirm or deny the origin of the letter, the capacity of the bank was strengthened or  undermined by the extent to which the country was able to increase foreign exchange earnings.

In the performance of this role, the CBN stated in the statement that it was natural for the apex bank to be concerned at the low level of accretion to reserves and the Excess Crude Account in spite of the strong international oil prices.

It said, 'The attention of the CBN has been drawn to an emerging public discourse around a letter purportedly written by the governor (CBN) to the President, expressing concern over non remittance of oil revenues by the NNPC.

'The CBN will neither confirm nor deny the existence of such a letter and considers any discussions by it on the alleged letter to be inappropriate.'