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Senate summons NNPC, others over non-remittance, deductions

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Senate Committee on Public Accounts has summoned the management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for clarification of its response to a query by Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Aghughu Arhotomhenla, over alleged non-remittance of N4.07 trillion to the federation account between 2010 and 2016.

The committee also summoned the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) regarding the queries raised by the Auditor-General on some of their financial transactions.

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The panel also sustained the query of the Office of the AuGF against NNPC, DPR, and Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) over the alleged unauthorised deduction of N1.5 trillion from the federation account.

Chairman of the committee, Matthew Urhoghide, who made their position known to journalists, yesterday, expressed worry that all the agencies, except Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), failed to remit the funds generated to the federation account before deduction.

NNPC had appeared before the committee about two weeks ago to explain that the N4.07 trillion was expended on the repair of oil pipelines, domestic fuel supplies, security, and management matters.

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Urhoghide, however, asked the NNPC management to appear again before the committee to give oral evidence and defend some of the things in the document, within a week, to enable the Senate to decide on whether the query should be vacated or sustained.

“They (NNPC) needs to come before the committee to make further clarifications. We give them till this Wednesday or latest Thursday to appear before us,” he explained.

The OAuGF had stated in a 2016 query: “It was observed from the examination of NNPC report that N4,076,548,336,749.75 remained unremitted to the federation account by NNPC as at December 31, 2016.”

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But the NNPC claimed that the unremitted N4 trillion was arrived at without taking into cognisance the subsidy and pipeline repairs and maintenance associated with domestic crude oil transactions.

It stated: “Subsidy approved and certified by PPPRA from 2010 to 2015 stood at the N4 trillion. Also in 2016, PMS under-recovery stood at N28.6 billion, which brings the total unrecognised subsidy/PMS under-recovery to N4 trillion.

“Aside from the above, pipeline repairs and products losses so incurred stood at N966 billion for the same period.”

According to the OAuGF query to NNPC and FIRS, the total revenue inflows to the federation account from the various collecting agencies amounted to N6.4 trillion.

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