By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate the illegal withdrawal from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividends account by the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum (NNPC), amounting to $1.05 billion.
The House therefore, mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to invite the managements of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that has taken place on the dividends account and report back to the House in four weeks.
The Green Chamber took the decisions at plenary, sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.
Moving the motion, Elumelu noted that NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989 with the aim of producing liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export purposes and it’s production kick-started in 1999.
He also noted that NLNG is jointly owned by the Government of Nigeria, represented by the NNPC with a shareholding of 49%, Shell Gas B.V 25.6%, Total LNG Nigeria LTD 15% and ENI International 10.4%.
The Minority Leader said he was: “Aware that the dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the consolidated revenue funds account of the federal government and to be shared amongst the three tiers of government.
“Worried that the NNPC who represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG had unilaterally without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of 1.05 billion dollars, thereby violating the nations appropriation law.
“Disturbed that there was no transparency in this extra budgetary spending as only the Group Managing Director and the Corporation’s Chief Financial Officer had the knowledge of how the 1.05 billion dollars was spent.
“Concerned that there are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the office of the auditor general of the federation, hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account”.