FG asks NNPC to comply with requests under FoI Act
Firm clarifies N147 billion remittance to FAAC
The Federal Government has declared that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is a public institution and therefore should respond to requests from any applicant seeking full disclosure of its records under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.
NNPC was also directed to establish a desk office for smooth direction and implementation of the contents of the Act.
The Head, FoI Unit, Federal Ministry of Justice and Co-Chair, Access to Information/ Work Group, Open Government Partnership (OGP), Nigeria Process, Mr. Benjamin Ogu Okolo, gave the directives yesterday during a two-day roundtable to assess the level of compliance with the FoI Act since seventh years of its becoming an Act.
The event, organized by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC), a programme of the British Council, and funded by the European Union, held at the Denis Hotels, Abuja.
Key organizers of the event, the Programme Officer of the RoLAC, Mr. Pwanakei Dala, and the Executive Director of the Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC), Dr. Walter Duru, had submitted that they were worried about poor compliance with the Act since seven years.
Okolo said the position of the Federal Government had been communicated to the authorities of the NNPC when an applicant sought for clarification on whether the corporation was exempted from the Act. He said the only institutions exempted were those contained in the provisions of the Act. Okolo expressed disgust that the applicant was allegedly denied the request.
Okolo said the Federal Government was determined to fully implement the Act, including training and capacity building of the official involved.
Meanwhile, the NNPC has described as unfortunate the actions of state governors at the June meeting of the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC), which ended in deadlock over alleged controversy in remittances from the corporation.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, of the corporation, Ndu Ughamadu, said the N147billion June remittance to FAAC was in line with the terms of agreement the NNPC had with governors on the matter.
The FAAC meeting ended in deadlock on Wednesday evening due to disagreement between the NNPC and the committee members over figures.
According to Ughamadu, the agreement NNPC had with the governors was that the corporation would make a monthly remittance of N112billion to FAAC subject to sufficient funds from sales of domestic crude oil allocation for the corresponding month after meeting cash call obligations on JVs, deductions of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), cost under recovery and pipeline maintenance.