Alleged Missing N20 Billion: Findings Shock Senate Committee


More facts have emerged over the probe of the allegedly missing N20

billion by the Senate finance committee as feelers from within showed

that nothing incriminating has been found against the oil ministry and

its agencies.
Checks inside the committee showed that rather than the big discovery of

fraud and mismanagement that neccesitated the probe,senators have

discovered that former Central Bank Governor ,Sanusi Lamido raised false

alarm and misled the committee.
The committee is also said to be unhappy that the minister of finance,

Okonjo Iweala was not forthcoming in her testimonies especially when it

was clear that Sanusi was literally lying in his presentations.

The committee was said to be shocked that the presidential directive

which the oil ministry was accused of disobeying was never concluded and

that it even contained contradictory provisions which make it

implementation impossible.
The committee was also unhappy as the case was presented as if it is

Dieziani Maduekwe ,the present minister that refused to implement the

directive .
A source close to the committee said it was shocked that even late

Yardua did not want the planned removal known to the public.

By directing a removal without public announcement, the former president

violates the petroleum act, which requires prices to be made public

Senators on the committee including opposition senators were shocked

that Sanusi misled them.
“He presented falsehood as facts. It was until we checked that we see

the truth. We are disappointed ” a source within the committee said.

The committee was also said to be impressed by the submission of the

Attorney General who on point of law confirm that the NNPC had acted

within the law.
Mr. Adoke informed that it is instructive to note that by virtue of

paragraph 14 to 16 of the First Schedule of the Petroleum Act, CAP.P.10

Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, LFN, 2004 (NNPC Act) and Regulation 4

of the Petroleum (Drilling and Productions) Regulations 1969 as amended,

a holder of an OML or Oil Prospecting License (OPL) can assign its

interest provided the consent of the Minister of Petroleum Resources is

“Furthermore, section 6(1)(C) of the NNPC Act empowers the NNPC to

establish and maintain subsidiaries for the discharge of its functions.

The NPDC was thus incorporated as a limited liability upstream company

of NNPC to carry out its upstream operations as envisaged by the law,”

Adoke submitted.
He added that it is pertinent to note that the transfer of the

participating interests in the OMLs in question, relates to a joint

venture arrangement between NNPC, on the one hand and Shell Petroleum

Development Company of Nigeria ltd, Nigerian Agip Oil Company Ltd (AGIP)

and Total E & P (Nigeria) Limited on the other hand.

On whether all revenues derived by the NNPC from upstream operations

including those under which OMLs in the JV operations are payable to the

Federation Account, Adoke posited that NNPC is generally under an

obligation to remit its revenue from the upstream petroleum operations

into the federation account.
According to him, this is however dependent on the definition of

'revenue' within the meaning and intendment of section 162 (10) (c) of

the constitution of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

1999 (Constitution) saying that the NNPC can by virtue of section 7(4)

of the NNPC Act defray all expenses incurred in the course of its

business in the upstream operations.
The AGF stated that the NNPC is required to pay into the Federation

Account the 'net revenue' as opposed to the 'gross revenue'.

“I'm therefore of the respectful view that only the net revenue from the

upstream petroleum operations of the NPDC should be paid into the

federation account by the NNPC. This is more so as the federating units

do not contribute to the funding of upstream petroleum operations of the

NNPC and its subsidiary,” he affirmed.
Checks confirmed that the committee while yet to conclude its sittings

is already seen the trends of the probe.
According to an insider,”what can we say now. The facts coming out

showed that the oil ministry indeed has good points.

The Petroleum act gives the minister enormous power. Those realities are

in the law. “NNPC indeed has power to incur expenditure ,to set up

subsidiaries . Mallam Sanusi misled us. There is no argument about

that”, the source said.