SAN FRANCISCO, April 05, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has called on the Federal Government to recover the sum of $22 billion, yet to be remitted to the treasury, by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio, told reporters in Abuja at an interactive session that “audits of the oil and gas sector carried out by NEITI show that the NNPC and its upstream arm, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), have failed to remit $21.778 billion and N316.074 billion to the Federation Account.”
Alluding to a report released by NEITI, Adio said the funds were due from three main sources, which he listed as: federation assets divested to NPDC; the company’s legacy liabilities payment for domestic crude allocation to NNPC; and, dividends from investment in Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) paid to the NNPC.
According to Adio, the unremitted funds fall under the categories of the full payment for the 12 Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) divested from Shell and Agip Ventures as well as NNPC divestment of 55 per cent of its stake in the Shell JV valued at $1.8 billion by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
He declared that the audit revealed that cash calls amounting to $552 million were erroneously paid on these divested assets by the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), the investment arm of NNPC but NPDC refunded $424 million to NAPIMS which was not remitted to the Federation Account.
Adio said the NNPC explained that it withheld the funds to pay for downstream related operational costs and subsidies but opined that the explanation was doubtful since such withholdings regularly exceeded actual subsidy costs.
Waziri called on the government to investigate the status and use of NLNG dividends from 2004 to 2014 and recover the money to put the economy on a sound and sustainable footing adding that criminal proceedings should be instituted against anyone found wanting.
SOURCE: The Nigerian Voice (local news)