Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala, Allison Madueke encourage corruption in NNPC says TAPAN
President Goodluck Jonathan, Finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and the Petroleum minister, Deziani Allison –Madueke, are the ones encouraging corruption in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, the Tax Payers Association (TAPAN) has alleged
It called for amendment of Section 85 (2) of the 1999 Constitution which empowers the auditor-general of the federation or anyone authorized by him to audit “the public accounts of the Federation and of all offices and courts of the Federation” and submit his report to the National Assembly, but says the office cannot audit the NNPC but provide NNPC and similar bodies with a list of qualified external auditors to choose from, guide on fees to pay the external auditors, comment on their accounts and the external auditor's reports.
The association wondered why the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido is not being applauded for blowing the whistle on the NNPC.
This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja Wednesday by Chairman Board of Trustees of TAPAN, Comrade Valentine Nzekwe, and the President, Mr Phillip Ilukhulo.
It also wondered why the finance minister tried to discredit the CBN boss, but still could not explain to Nigerians how $10 Billion allegedly varnished from the NNPC, and agency which activities should ordinarily be under her watch.
According to TAPAN “ the President is just paying lip service to corruption. First it was Stella Oduah and the bullet proof scandal, and now no one can explain to Nigerian tax payers how $10 Billion varnished from the NNPC.”
It said “ when the CBN Governor blew the whistle, Okonjo Iweala treid to discredit him, she told us the accounts had been harmonized, at the end it was revealed $10 billion was still missing. And instead of President Jonathan to summon the MD of the NNPC, Petroleum minister to explain this discrepancy, the finance minister simply said the NNPC must account as if the NNPC is a private company”
Speaking On the missing $10.8 billion from the Federation Account, at the Budget presentation last week, Okonjo-Iweala vowed that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) must return the missing fund.
According to her, the role of the Federal Ministry of Finance is to ensure that the maximum amount of revenue flows into the Federation Account.
She said that the ministry had played its role in the remittances face-off between the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), adding that NNPC must explain how it spent the money and remit the unspent balance to the national treasury.
' Let me be absolutely clear that the ministry under my stewardship will always stand for accountability and for ensuring that monies that belong to the treasury are paid in or at least accounted for” she said.
But TAPAN is not impressed saying “ if you say your statutory role is to ensure that the maximum amount of revenue flows into the Federation account, how did this fraud escape your eyes. So there are tons of cash, billions of dollars being stolen under her watch, and all you will say is NNPC must account, so the finance ministry has no idea how the NNPC spends the nations cash?”
TAPAN also urged the National Assembly to look into the statutes including the constitution that shields the NNPC from scrutiny. It said “ we recall what the auditor General Samuel Ukura said recently about auditing NNPC. He said his office does not audit the accounts of NNPC for now in line with the provisions of section 85(3)(b) of the Constitution as earlier stated. This is absurd”
Ukura had said , “There have been some ethical and professional threats hampering the capability of OAuGF to carry out the vetting and periodic checks of the Accounts of Government Statutory Corporations, Commissions etc including NNPC Operations (as a conglomerate with about 20 sub-organisations, 12 Government Agencies) and about 30 companies (subject to issuance of new licenses) operating in the oil and gas Industry in accordance with sections 85(4)and comment on same having been audited by NNPC appointed Auditors in line with section 85(3)(b) as a consolidated report of this kind that would meet your need.
“It is hoped that once the Audit Act is passed into law, these threats shall be mitigated by proper repositioning of the OAuGF to carry out the audit of these Institutions. Consequently, the OAuGF does not audit the accounts of NNPC for now in line with the provisions of section 85(3)(b) of the Constitution as earlier stated.”