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Senate mulls complete overhaul of NNPC’s transactions to block leakages

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The Senate has said all Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) transactions should be completely overhauled to enhance transparency and accountability and ultimately block all leakages in the system.

It explained that the development stemmed from mounting concerns over increasing leakages and declining revenues from the nation’s revenue-generating agencies.

Senate also demanded that credible auditing of all payments made by the NNPC, particularly with regard to subsidies, be carried out.

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Its Committee on Finance disclosed at a media briefing in Abuja that some individuals have been making illegitimate money from the several loopholes in most of the revenue generating agencies, adding that the Senate has resolved to expose such illicit takings and ensure that all leakages are blocked.

Chairman of the committee, Solomon Adeola, also threatened that it would henceforth not approve any loan request not tied to specific projects.

“There should be a total overhauling of NNPC’s transactions. Every transaction of the corporation must be transparent. The issue is that importation of fuel by the NNPC is as a result of non-performance of the nation’s refineries.

“When they recorded under-recovery, which led to subsidy payments, that is what has now become an issue. The question is we should verify the payments. Are there auditors who verify payments and report back to government?

“That is where the legislature should come in and ensure that what needs to be done, as far as this issue is concerned, must be reviewed properly. The Ninth Senate will work hard to ensure that under-recovery NNPC claims on the volume of fuel imported would be properly reviewed.

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“In the Eighth Senate, there was a huge difference between the amount of fuel imported and actual consumption by Nigerians. That has also shown in the current closure of the nation’s land borders. It has been reported that over 11 million metric tons of petrol was not used within the country,” he said.

Adeola stressed that the trend showed that something was wrong somewhere, insisting, “So, those who have been living fat on this kind of transaction, should be ready for us, as we go into proper legislative oversight. We will ensure that those who come to equity must come with clean hands.

“We are ready and we are going all the way to ensure that under recovery would be put at rest once and for all.”

On the judicious application of loans, the Senate said it would no longer approve any borrowing not tied to specific projects.

It lamented government’s growing indebtedness, pointing out that in approving the $29.96b sought by President Muhammadu Buhari last year, the Senate would demand that “all the money being requested for borrowing are attached to execution of specific projects.

“We are not going to approve any loan not attached to projects execution, because that is the only way we can monitor development and proper utilisation of the money.”

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