CSO asks EFCC to probe NNPC over 2016 audit report



The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to commence investigation into allegations of missing and unremitted funds levelled against some agencies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The civil society organisation (CSO) based its demand on an audit report of some ministries and agencies by Price WaterHouse Coopers in 2016.

In a petition to the anti-graft agency, Olanrewaju Suraju, chairman of CSNAC, cited a Sahara Reporters’ report that highlighted discoveries made by the audit firm.

Quoting the report, Suraju said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) did not remit any revenue into the federation account for some months and no explanation was given.

“A whooping sum of N4 trillion was, as of the time of preparing the report, unremitted to the federation account by the NNPC,” the petition read.

“The total revenue unremitted as at 1st January 2016 from amounts payable into the federation account by NNPC was ₦3,878,955,039,855.73 [Three trillion, eight hundred and seventy-eight billion, nine hundred and fifty-five million, thirty-nine thousand and eight hundred and fifty-five Naira].

“The sum of N2,198,138,355,860.30 was due in revenue to the Federation Account out of the total generated in 2016, however, NNPC paid the sum of N1,000,545,058,966.2 resulting in an amount withheld of N197,593,296,894.02. This brought the total amount withheld by NNPC from the Federation Account as at 31 December 2016 to N4,076,548,336,749.75.”

The CSNAC chairman said the NNPC has failed to clearly state exactly the quantity of crude oil lifted or delivered to Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) and Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical company (KRPC).

“From the examination of the Domestic Crude Oil Lifting sales profile, a total crude oil lifting of 8,399,027 bbls with a total sales value of $376,655,589.03 (N102, 659,577,632.16) was stated to have been lifted jointly by these two companies,” he said.

“However, the auditor held that the failure to properly separate these deliveries and charge directly to each company makes it difficult to reconcile and account for each lifting.”

Suraju said ecological funds were misappropriated.

“For instance, over N28 billion, out of the N48,601,928,311.08 meant for development of natural resources, was diverted to other projects. Similarly, the federal government ‘borrowed’ from these funds without stating how it intended to pay back,” he said.

“At least, 59 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the government refused to return a total sum of N413, 449,306.08 back to source.

“This is in contravention of the Financial Regulation (2009), which stipulates that ‘all standing impress must be retired on or before the 31st December of the financial year in which they were issued, while special impress shall be retired immediately the reason for which they were granted cease to exist’.

“The financial document revealed that there was a reduction in revenue collected across government agencies except from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). The total sum of N941, 039, 251, 064 was reported uncollected by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), DPR and the NNPC.

“Advance payment of over N747 million given to staff of the Nigerian Senate for procurement in 2016 had not been retired as of June 2017.

“Also, some staffers of the ministry of power, works and Hhusing received cash advances to the tune of N26, 369, 523 which was not retired at the end of the financial year. Rather than recover this fund, new cash advances were granted the same officers yet to retire the first cash advance received.

“We demand the action of the EFCC to ensure that relevant processes towards the recovery of the alleged ‘missing’ or ‘disappeared’ monies is urgently fast-tracked and officials responsible for the management of all the defaulting ministries and funds are held accountable in line with the provisions of the law.”

TheCable