The senate has mandated the committee on petroleum downstream to investigate the non-remittance of funds by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the federation account.
The committee will also investigate an alleged abuse of product marketing and distribution between 2006 and 2016.
The resolution by the senate was sequel to a motion entitled ‘discrepancies in subsidy payment and non-remittance of funds by the NNPC to the federation account’.
The motion was sponsored by Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west.
Melaye expressed dismay that despite the crackdown by the Buhari administration, the NNPC has refused to remit funds to the federation account.
“The independent marketers account for 49 percent of the imported petroleum product, while the NNPC accounts for 51 percent of imported products, but this does not justify the huge amount it has been paid as subsidy in the last 10 years,” the senator said.
“From the records derived from the PPMC, 5 to 10 cargoes of imported crude arrives the country monthly, while about 5 cargoes are refined locally and each cargo contains 5.8 million litres of the refined crude products.
“The excess products which cannot be dispensed that goes into different tank forms owned by private individuals are not properly accounted for as they illegally sold off by the owners of these tank farms in a manner that is opaque and usually designed to rip off the public and enrich a few persons stupendously at the expense of the masses.”
He said since the Buhari administration “clamped down” on subsidy payments, NNPC has solely been responsible for retail of petroleum products.
“Companies like BOVAS and RANO are paying N20 to N25 per litre for the sales of this product which amounts to over N2 billion monthly,” he said.
“These monies are not accounted for and that might be the reason why we now see petro-dollars in caskets and uncompleted building in remote villages in some parts of the country.”
The senate adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by Bukola Saraki, senate president.
In December 2016, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said as of 2014, the NNPC had withheld $15.8 billion from the federation account paid by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas.
“NLNG paid $1.42 billion to NNPC as dividends, loan and interest repayments for 2014 but the amount could not be traced to the Federation Account,” NEITI had said in a report.
“Between 2005 and 2013, there was an outstanding of $12.92 billion of dividends, interest and loan repayment made by NLNG to NNPC but not remitted to the Federation Account;
“The 2014 audit uncovered evidence of $1.5 billion paid by NLNG to NNPC between 2000 and 2004 but also not remitted. This brings the sum of unremitted NLNG dividends, interest and loan repayment to $15.8 billion as at the end of 2014.”
Source: The Cable