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Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2014

$22.8bn missing in NNPC audited financial statements – NEITI

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NEITI BossBy Umar Muhammad Puma

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed yesterday alleged that $22.8 billion was not disclosed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in its audited financial statements through alternative funding arrangement with its joint venture partners, according to its audit report of 2009-2011.

Mrs. Ahmed equally faulted the claim by NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu that the Corporation did not connive with some Swiss oil dealers to short-change the country of $6.8 billion.

The NEITI boss further stated that from 2009 to 2011 the country lost N98.3 billion to NNPC in exchange rates compared to Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN official exchange rate in the year under review.

Mrs. Ahmed, who appeared before House of Representatives joint committees on Petroleum Resources, Upstream, Petroleum Resources Downstream and Justice probing the allegation insisted that the Bernes declaration report had substance.

The NNPC boss had yesterday rubbished the Bernes Declaration report saying that the report was false.

However, the chairman of the panel, Rep Ajibola Muraina (PDP Oyo), adjourned the investigative hearing till March 25 and ruled that, the Minister of Petroleum resources, Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Acting Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Executive Secretary of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA among others to appear before the panel on the adjourned date.

The NEITI boss in her position paper which was based on NEITI audit report of 2009-2011 also faulted allocation of 445, 000 barrels per day for local refineries through NNPC saying that, “the 445,000 barrels per day allocation should be reviewed to the actual refining capacity of the refineries”.

Mrs. Ahmed also advised that Federal government should consider privatisation of the refineries, and as well ensure that pipeline security should be enhanced.

The Managing Director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr Haruna Momoh in his presentation to the committee debunked the claim that the nation is losing $8 billion annually through swap arrangement of crude oil between NNPC and some foreign oil companies.

Mr. Momoh also maintained that the crude oil swap arrangement was in the best interest of the country, saying that the arrangement has guaranteed supply of the petroleum products in the country.

He added that there was no shoddy arrangement in the crude oil swap arrangement, stressing that the swap arrangement is not a permanent arrangement, “it will soon be phased out once the refineries are operating in full capacity and when new refineries comes on board”.

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