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Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2014

‘Missing’ $20bn: Okonjo-Iweala wants speedy action on forensic audit

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okonjo-iwealaBy Etuka Sunday

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has demanded for a speedy action on the recommended independent forensic audit to settle the issue ofunremitted funds to the Federation Account.

This was not unconnected with the face-off between the Management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamdio Sanusi over unremitted claims.

Recalls, the Minister during her last appearance before the Senate Committee on Finance had opted for an independent forensic audit to really determine the figure if truly there has been unremitted oil money into the Federation Account.

However, the Minister in a statement on Tuesday said, “My position on this has been clear from the start. The Ministry of Finance’s reconciliation showed a shortfall of $10.8b in NNPC remittances to the Federation account.

“After this, the conflicting claims continued with new figures such as $20b being mentioned. So, since 13th February I have called for an independent forensic audit “President Goodluck Jonathan indeed announced last night that there will be an investigation into whether there are any funds missing from NNPC.

“He also indicated that the correct process needs to be followed in this investigation and I understand that the entity that has the proper authority to initiate such an investigation is the Auditor-General of the federation.

“I therefore want to see the truth from an investigation under the auspices of the Auditor- General, which in my view should be undertaken as a matter of extreme urgency by independent external auditors”.

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