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
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
The committee was also unhappy as the case was presented as if it is
Dieziani Maduekwe ,the present minister that refused to implement the
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,”
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.