The auditor-general of the federation is studying the report of the forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which the PricewaterhouseCoopers submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan last week and will make the highlights public soon
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Feb. 16, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
AT last the PricewaterhouseCoopers, PWC, the international audit firm appointed by the federal government to audit the alleged unremitted oil revenue by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to the federation account, has submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan. Uyi Akpata, Country Senior Partner of the firm, who presented the report to the president, expressed hope that the report would be useful to the president, adding that it was a privilege for the firm to have carried out the exercise on behalf of the government.
Replying, President Jonathan said that the media and indeed Nigerians would be interested in the findings which would go a long way in bringing to an end the controversy over allegations of missing money and non-remittance of revenue by the NNPC. Jonathan directed the auditor-general of the federation to study the report and make the key highlights public within one week. “There has been so much controversy over NNPC and leakages or no leakages. I remember the Senate had also looked into it, so it is also good that you professionals have also looked into it. What appeared in the papers and speculations were also very high. In fact, figures that I cannot even imagine the country would make were being bandied in the newspapers.
“So I am quite pleased that you have undertaken the forensic audit. Though it is voluminous, I will give it to the professionals,” Jonathan said.
The president also said his administration was committed to reforming the oil sector with the Petroleum Industrial Bill, PIB, which is still before the National Assembly. “Indeed you mentioned the issue of reform in the sector and everybody knows that the sector needs to be reformed. By the time we go through the Petroleum Industry Bill and pass it into a law, most of these lapses will be corrected and the misconceptions will be properly addressed.”
President Jonathan thanked PWC for its work and expressed confidence that the report would help to move things forward and set the records straight, promising to handle the recommendations of the report decisively.
PWC had offered to submit an interim report, but the president it and insisted that a comprehensive forensic audit must be submitted. “I hope we will not call you back, but where need be, we will call you back if there are issues that are not so clear. But we are happy with what you have done so far.
“I assure you that this is a precious document that the accountant general will keep and I will have my own copy, because even after I leave office and I need to write my memoirs, I will use some part of it,” he said.
The federal government had last year appointed the PWC to examine the accounts of the NNPC, its subsidiary and other agencies of government operating in the oil and gas sector in a bid to clear the air over NNPC’s non-remittance of $49.8 billion into the federation account. The government said since conflicting figures were being mentioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and the NNPC, the only way to establish the truth and reassure Nigerians was to set up an independent body to verify all claims made by the parties.
This was after Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former CBN, governor, (now Emir of Kano), wrote a letter to the President over the non-remittance of $49.8 billion by the corporation between January 2012 and July 2013. The revelation led to the termination of Sanusi’s appointment as the CBN governor. But Sanusi insisted on Thursday, February 13, 2013, while appearing before the Senate Committee on Finance and Inter-Agency Committee, that the NNPC didn’t account for $20 billion in oil sale proceeds and that the subsidy the corporation was removing on kerosene was illegal, null and void. He later revised the non-remitted amount by the NNPC from $49.8 billion to $10.8 billion and finally to $20 billion before leaving the CBN.
“We established that the NNPC shipped about $67 billion worth of crude oil and about $47 billion came back to the Federation Account; so, there is $20 billion unremitted. The finance minister had explained that there was $6 billion that the NNPC said it shipped on behalf of the NPDC. There is the $2 billion third party finance and the balance of $12 billion from our books, and even from the NNPC submissions, it is what is outstanding from the domestic crude of $28 billion that was exported by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company. As far as the CBN is concerned, the most important point to establish is that there is a difference of $20 billion between what the NNPC shipped and what it repatriated. We have presented documents from the PPPRA and the Presidency that, in our view, there is no subsidy on kerosene first of all, and that the payment of kerosene subsidy is a violation of a written presidential directive,” he said.