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Jonathan receives NNPC audit report

By Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja
02 February 2015   |   11:24 pm
Pledges speedy action      PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday received the report of the forensic investigation into the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with a pledge to ensuring that all aspects of the reports would be implemented to move the industry forward.   The submission of the report is coming barely 24 hours after Sanusi’s predecessor…

Goodluck-Jonathan

Pledges speedy action    

 PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday received the report of the forensic investigation into the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with a pledge to ensuring that all aspects of the reports would be implemented to move the industry forward.

  The submission of the report is coming barely 24 hours after Sanusi’s predecessor in office, Prof. Charles Soludo, raised fresh allegation against the Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that no less than N30 trillion had been mismanaged under her tenure.

  But receiving the report at the new Banquet Hall Presidential Villa, Abuja, Jonathan admitted that there had been so much of controversy over this NNPC and expressed the hope that with the submission of the reports, all the issues generated would be put to a final stop.

  Though details of the reports were not made public, the President has directed the Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ukraine Samuel, to within one week, prepare key highlights of the report to be made available to the public. He said that had become imperative because of the interest generated by the erratic of the NNPC.

  The Senior Country Partner of Price Water, Mr. Uyi Akpata, while submitting the reports, said the firm did its best within the specified mandate and hoped that the government would find the outcome of the exercise useful as it prepares to embark on the reform of the oil sector.

  His words: “There has been so much controversies regarding the operation of the NNPC concerning leakages or no leakages. I remember the Senate has also looked into it; it is also good that you professionals have also looked into it.

  “What appears in the papers and the speculations is also very high, the figures that I cannot even imagine the country will make is being bandied in the newspapers.

  “So, I am quiet pleased that you have taken the forensic audit. Though it is voluminous, I will give it to the professionals.”

  While handing over the report, which was in two volumes, to Samuel, the President said: “In government work, there are people that have the statutory responsibilities to handle such assignment which is the auditor-general of the federation. So, the auditor-general will look at it and within the week, let us have key highlights because the media will want to know the key findings vis-a-vis the Senate findings and figures being bandied around in the newspaper, but Nigerians are interested.”

  While admitting that oil industry needed much reforms, Jonathan said: “Everybody knows that the sector needs to be reformed, by the time we go through the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and pass it into a law, most of this lapses will be corrected and the misconception will be properly addressed.

  “I thank you for the good work you have done and I believe it will help us to move things forward and set things right and I promise we will handle it decisively. Nigerians don’t need to be scared; this is something that Nigerians are interested in. They wanted to submit an interim report, but I said no, there must be a conclusion on this matter. It is a forensic audit and there is no room for interim report so they must go back and conclude it and luckily they have concluded it.”

  It would be recalled that the Presidency had on March 12, 2014 commissioned a reputable international audit firm, the Price Water House, to take a forensic auditing of the accounts of the government oil company in the heat of the allegations by the immediate past Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, now the Emir of Kano, that the NNPC had failed to remit about $20 billion into the Federation Account.

  The controversy led to the suspension of Sanusi in April even though the Federal Government in a statement claimed that Sanusi’s suspension had nothing to do with an attempt to cover up his allegation that funds due to the Federation Account were unaccounted for by the NNPC.