NNPC denies allegation
…Reps disagree with Kyari over N3.86 bn.
Senate Committee on Public Account on Tuesday gave the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to present detailed explanation on how N4.07 trillion was spent on fuel subsidy and pipeline repairs within a week or else the query by the Office of Auditor General of the Federation will be sustained.
The Vice Chairman of the Committee , Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia who gave the order while the Management of the NNPC appeared before the Committee on the allegation of non-remmittance of N4.07 trillion into federation account.
Most members of the committee like Senators Ayo Akinyelure , Ibrahim Abdullahi , Suleiman Kwari were of the view that the query should be vacated until Chief Financial Officer of NNPC, Umar Ajiya who represented the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari present the details of how the money was spent before the query can be vacated.
The Office of Auditor – General , had in its 2016 Audit report , alleged NNPC of non remittance of N4.076trillion into the Federation account from operational proceeds made between 2010 and 2016 .
Findings into the allegation , were sought by the Senate Committee on Public Account at its session where Olutoye Agesin represented the Auditor General in his capacity as the Director of Public Accounts and Umar Ajiya who represented the NNPC GMD .
But while the NNPC Chief Finance Officer in his submissions before the Committee, explained that the alleged unremitted N4.076trillion was spent on other critical areas of operations which were not taken cognizance off by the office of Auditor General of the Federation in the 2016 Audit report , Agesin countered by saying required explanations were not given for such spendings .
The NNPC CFO in debunking the allegation said the alleged unremitted money was expended on oil pipelines repairs , domestic fuel supplies which were heavily subsidized , security and management matters .
” Infact , Chairman , Distinguished members of this Commitee , from such such expenses made within the stated period , it is even the federal government owing us N239billion “, he said .
He added that response to the query had been sufficiently made in the forensic audit conducted later , reports of which were forwarded to the Office of the Auditor General and this August committee .
“The forensic audit has been done, the auditor general has a copy of the forensic audit. At the end of the day that forensic audit established that NNPC was owing about N797billion but also on the other hand, the federation was also owing NNPC, the net effect was that the NNPC was being owed N239billion , so there is nothing like N4tr withheld by NNPC.
“The books are with the CBN, you can’t hide N4tr anywhere. It has gone through the consumption of PMS and that is why everybody has to be involved with respect to deregulation”, he explained.
But Agesin in his own counter submission , admitted that though a copy of the forensic report was received by them in the Office of Auditor General but explanations given by NNPC on alleged spendings made with the N4.076trillion were factual with required evidences of spendings .
“N4trillion is not a small amount of money that can just be said to be spent on pipeline repairs and oil subsidy within five years .
” Line by line details of such spendings ought to have been made in the NNPC ‘s response to the query ” he said .
NNPC denies non- remmitance of N4 .76 trn into federation account
The Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation, NNPC, has denied non remmitance of N4.76 trillion to the federation account as claimed by the 2016 report of the Office of Auditor -General of the Federation, OAGF.
The NNPC Chief Financial Officer, Umar Ajiya, said this when he appeared before Senate Committee on Public Accounts to defend queries raised by AOGF against the corporation.
Umar said that the issue in question had to do with domestic crude that NNPC lifted to either refine and sell in exchange for refined products imported to the country.(NAN)
Also, Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Tuesday disagreed with the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC Mallam Mele Kyari over the underremittance of N3.87 billion oil revenue from the coffers of the agency to the federation account
Chairman of the House Committee Oluwole Oke and other lawmakers at an investigative hearing on remittances of revenue to the federation account noted that the revenue accruing to the federation account from NNPC had nosedived remarkably.
Oke who quizzed the NNPC boss and other officials of the agency on the report of the Auditor-General of the Federation noted with dismay that the NNPC in 2015 had generated N2.4 trillion, deducted N8.5 billion and remitted N1.57 trillion to the federation account.
He also noted that a technical report of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee FAAC had revealed that the NNPC had deducted N865.4 bn from its accounts from the audit queries by the Auditor-General of the Federation.
But the GMD in his response to the queries sad that the deductions are first level deductions that is backed by law.
He further said that he takes personal responsibility for every submission made by other officials of the agency on the matter under investigation by the committee.
He also told the committee that the NNPC Act empowers the agency deduct a certain percentage of its revenues before its remittances to the federation account.
The NNPC boss added that all the financial transactions of the agency is in the public dormain and is published on monthly basis.
Nonetheless, the Committee Chairman Hon. Oke said that the committee will set up a technical committee to look into the matter.
He further said that no agency of government is allowed to generate one Natural or Kobo and spend same as the cost of generation is untenable.
He also said that the NNPC and the FIRS are the only two government agencies that have outstanding audit queries with the committee adding that the queries had featured in all years.
Other committee members notably Bulus Maren from Plateau and Mark Gbillah from Benue also requested that the committee’ probe covers the approval given to the agency to dispose its assets and other operational costs involved in the said deductions.