NEITI urges NPDC to remit $4.9b to treasury
We owe only $1.7b, says management
The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency International (NEITI) has urged the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to settle $4.977 billion outstanding liabilities to the Federal Government.
At a public hearing on the “Unlawful misappropriation and willful withholding of funds by the NNPC and the NPDC from 2013 to date” in Abuja yesterday, the NEITI said from its findings, outstanding liabilities amounting to $4.977 billion in addition to another sum of N68.2 billion ought to have been settled by the NPDC.
Submitting NEITI’s recommendations to the Senate panel, the Executive Secretary to NEITI, Waziri Adio, informed the Senate: “The NPDC should as a matter of urgency settle the consideration for the divested assets from the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Joint Venture (NAOC JV.)
He said: “An investigation aimed at unravelling all issues surrounding the transaction involving transfers of the Oil Mining Licences (OMLs) to NPDC and overdue period taken to remit all liabilities should be initiated by the Federal Government.
However, the Managing Director of NPDC, Yusuf Matashi, stated that what NPDC owed was $1.7 billion, adding that of that amount, it had paid N100 million.
It was also recommended that the Federal Government should “review the proprietary rights, processes and transactions involving the assignment of OMLs from NAOC JV to NPDC by NNPC.
Other recommendations made to the Senate include “Recovery of all cash call paid to NPDC in respect of the divested assets totalling $148.29 million and N2.42 billion.”
Also, the National Petroleum Investments Management Services (NAPIMS) and NPDC are to provide details of all cash calls paid on divested assets for review.
It was also recommended that the NPDC should provide proper account of lifting and payments to the federation on fields operated on behalf of the federation for which cash calls were made.
NEITI had informed the Senate joint committee presided over Senator Omotayo Alasoadura that
“The NNPC did not declare any surplus to the federation from the operations of the group since these OMLs were assigned to its subsidiary.”
According to NEITI, “Audit evidence also revealed that cash calls were paid on assets (OMLs 4,26,30, 34,38,40,41&42) divested by NNPC to NPDC from SPDC JV between September 2010 and April 2011.”
The Senate joint committee lamented that the $4.977 billion unremitted funds by the NNPC and its subsidiary, the NPDC was sufficient to settle the 2016 budget deficit of N3 trillion.
Alasoadura said the amount being investigated was too “huge” to be ignored adding that what the committee is investigating is the non-remittance of over N3 trillion.
The lawmaker said: “Now, the 2016 budget has a deficit of N3 trillion, if we had these unremitted funds we probably would not be running a (budget) deficit.”