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NNPC accuses Sanusi of mixing up figures on alleged missing $20b

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
20 March 2015   |   5:21 am
AGAIN, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has accused former Central Bank Governor and Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido of always mixing up figures on the alleged missing $20billion oil money.
Sanusi Lamido

Sanusi Lamido

AGAIN, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has accused former Central Bank Governor and Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido of always mixing up figures on the alleged missing $20billion oil money.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the NNPC posited that Sanusi, against the findings of the Senate Committee on Finance and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has continued his unabated false allegation of unremitted $20billion oil revenue against the corporation, claiming that the issues surrounding his allegation have not been adequately addressed.

NNPC stated that the respected traditional ruler has got it wrong again in much the same way his failure to grasp the issues of remittances to the Federation Account led him into the embarrassing error of alleging that NNPC failed to remit $49.8billion oil revenue into the Federation Account, an allegation which has since been proved to be false even by his own account.

The statement read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to the latest gambit of the former CBN governor and Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, to reinvent the wheel of his false allegations against the NNPC by insisting, during an interview with Christiane Amanpour of the Cable News Network (CNN), that the issues surrounding his allegation of unremitted $20bn have not been adequately addressed.

“According to the royal father, ‘One of them (issues) is the billions of dollars being paid in kerosene subsidies without appropriation by the National Assembly and against a presidential order and we don’t know who authorized those payments and yet no one has owned up to say I authorized the payments, I made a mistake’. “But it is on record that he (as CBN Governor) attended the hearings of the Senate Committee on Finance where the issue of kerosene subsidy was exhaustively looked at vis-à-vis the presidential memo directing the removal of kerosene subsidy.

The explanation was that the process of implementing the presidential directive was not followed through by the Minister of Petroleum Resources at that time as required by law which technically meant that kerosene subsidy was not removed.

It was on the basis of this that the Senate Committee on Finance in its report recommended that the executive should prepare and present to the National Assembly a supplementary budget ‘to cover the expenditure in the sum of N90.6billion for PMS (premium motor spirit) subsidy 2012 and N685.9billion for kerosene subsidy expended without appropriation by the National Assembly’.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also observed in its recent forensic audit report thus: ‘Regarding the issue of subsidy on DPK (kerosene), the Presidential Directive of 19 October, 2009, was not gazetted and there is no other legal instrument cancelling the subsidy on DPK. The Senate Committee had also concluded that all that was now required was for the FGN to propose appropriation for the un-appropriated subsidy for the period in a supplemental budget’.

“We are therefore at a loss as to what Sanusi meant by his statement that issues surrounding his allegation of unremitted $20billion, especially regarding kerosene subsidy, have not been adequately addressed.

“It would be recalled that Sanusi began his campaign of calumny against the corporation with a false alarm that it failed to remit a whopping $49.8billion being proceeds of crude oil sales into the Federation Account. “Upon reconciliation of the figures with relevant agencies whereupon it was discovered that the balance of unremitted oil revenue was actually the amount spent by the corporation on its operations in accordance with the law (NNPC Act), Sanusi began to play games with figures submitting at various times that $10.8billion, $12, and $20billion was what was unremitted by the corporation.

“Both the Senate Committee on Finance and PricewaterhouseCoopers have investigated the allegations and came out with reports exonerating the Corporation. “Why the royal father appears hell-bent on hanging a tag of corruption on the corporation even when all the inquiries into his allegation of unremitted funds have proved otherwise remains a mystery to us.

“But we believe that his royal dignity will be best served and preserved if he owns up to his error of raising false allegation and apologize for same rather than continue in error believing that if he continues to harp on his false allegation it will someday be accepted as the truth.”