NNPC Earned N8.1trn, Remitted N4.3trn Into Federation Account, Blew N3.5trn – NEC
… Raises 4-man Committee To Verify Accruals, Withdrawals From Federation, Excess Crude Accounts
SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, (THEWILL) – Following revelations that state owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) earned N8.1 trillion, remitted only N4.3 trillion into the account of the federal government and illegally withheld and spent N3.5trn between 2012 and May 2015, the National Economic Council (NEC), which was formally inaugurated Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari, has set up a four-man committee to examine the accruals into and withdrawals from the Federation Account and the Excess Crude Account from 2012 to May 2015.
The committee was set up at the 58th meeting of the council, after it was inaugurated by President Buhari, under the chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The members of the committee are the Chairman of the Governors Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari; Governor Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Mr. Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) and Mr. Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom).
The members told state house correspondents at a joint press conference that NEC looked at the report of the Excess Crude account to know “what is there and what is not there. Also, the council got the briefing from the Director of Funds on the unremitted funds by the NNPC.
“On that line, four-man committee was constituted to go through the books of the NNPC and the Excess Crude Account as well as the Federation Account. They are to check the books of the NNPC especially the issue of the Excess Crude and what is not remitted to the Federation Account,” the chairman of the NGF said.
Expatiating further, Governor Oshiomhole said it was the first time the NEC met in which under the instructions of the President, NNPC and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation were compelled to provide information on issues related to the sales of Nigeria's crude from 2012 to May 2015.
“This has not happened before and for us this is profound – talking about transparency, talking about change.
“And what we saw from those numbers, which I believe Nigerians are entitled to know, is that whereas the NNPC claimed to have earned about N8.1 trillion what NNPC paid into the Federation Account in 2012 all through 2015, end of May was N4.3 trillion.
“And NNPC withheld and spent N3.5 trillion.
“Now, the major revelation here for me is that the entire Federation, that is the Federal government, the state governments and all the 774 local governments the amount the NNPC paid into the Federation Account for distribution to these tiers of government came to N4.3 trillion and NNPC also took and spent N3.5 trillion
“Which means that the cost of running NNPC is even much more than the cost of running the Federal Government.
“That tells you how much, talking about what is missing what is mismanaged what is stolen, there are huge numbers here.”
The governor said the former minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, reported by Nov 2014 “that we had $4.1 billion in the account but today the Accountant General office reported that you have $2.0 billion in the account''.
Governor El Rufai said the excess crude account was established by the Olusegun Obasanjo's administration, saying it was part of the administrative arrangement to save for a rainy day. He said it was meant to have very clear accountability so that every state and the local government at any point in time know the balance in the account.
He said that before any money could be spent from the account, the Federal and States needed to agree.
“That was how we agreed to build the seven power stations that are NIPPs today.
“We also met and agreed to build the Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge Rail line from the account; but what we have seen in the last few years is that the account is being operated unilaterally by the Federal Government.
“Drawings were being made without consulting those that actually own the money. The account is 52 per cent under the FG and 48 per cent owned by the states and the local governments,” he said.
Speaking further, the chairman of the NGF, said the council also deliberated on a number of issues concerning the states and their programmes.
He said the Federal Government in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria would look inwards to see how much support they could give to the states, more especially on the issue of outstanding salaries in some of the states and the federal government.
He said that Buhari had insisted that the provisions of the constitution be implemented with regard to remittance of all federal money into the federation account be followed.
“He insisted on putting in section 80 and section 162 of the constitution which says that all monies should go into the federation account.
“Some revenue generating agencies are not paying, he mentioned some: NPA, NIMASA, NCC and many others.
“So all these revenue generating agencies the council expects that their funds should go into the Consolidated Federation Revenue Account as directed by the President,” he said.