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NNPC faults presidential panel, restates commitment to transparency, due process

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday restated its commitment to transparency and due process, especially with regard to an alleged breach of Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.

Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Property had alleged financial breaches in the corporation’s operations, particularly underpayment of lease renewal fees on Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 67, 68 and 70 by ExxonMobil.

Speaking when Chairman and members of the Panel visited the NNPC in Abuja, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the corporation has nothing to hide, as it would gain more by being transparent in its operations.

“Members of our management share Mr. President’s vision that government institutions must be accountable. We know that we will gain more by being more transparent. We have nothing to hide,” he said.

Kyari pointed out that NNPC paid $600m, is a 40 percent equity contribution of the joint venture agreement after which it would pay the remaining 60 percent, but it became unnecessary as it represented the government.

“Ordinarily, NNPC would have contributed the balance of 60 percent of the amount, which literally meant government paying money to itself. There was no need for that,” Kyari added.

Besides, alleged breaches of TSA and under-remittance of funds have continued against the corporation, as the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) recently accused NNPC of failing to remit $16.8b reportedly paid to it as dividends by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited.

NEITI also claimed that the corporation and other stakeholders in the industry were yet to remit $22.06b and N481.75b to the Federation’s Account.

Under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, NNPC was also accused of failing to remit $629 million, being proceeds of its operations and interests accruing to it in five banks.

Earlier, the House of Representatives accused Federal Government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including the NNPC of failing to follow the TSA policy, leading to revenue leakages amounting to over $900 million.

On the alleged breach of TSA policy, Kyari said NNPC has no secret account, stressing: “there is no single account NNPC is operating that is unknown to the Federal Government. Any account (s) outside the TSA platform are partners accounts, which we have obtained due approvals.”

Kyari, who observed that all monies belonging to the corporation were domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), added that the CBN and the Accountant General of the Federation remain its account managers.

Clarifying alleged non-remittances of taxes and royalties by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), NNPC’s upstream arm, Kyari stated that there were outstanding payments before 2015.


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