The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is yet to remit an outstanding $16.8 billion dividend to the federation account, audit reports by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) shows.
This unremited fund is part of several remedial issues which remain outstanding in the NEITI audit reports.
Mr. Waziri Adio, Executive Secretary of NEITI, identified the pending issues of NNPC non-remittance of $16.8billion dividend between 2000 and 2015 as a major one.
“From our reports, this money did not go to the Federation Account; NNPC confirmed that the outstanding payment was $16.8billion”, said Adio.
Adio, who stated this recently while speaking in Abuja at a civil society/media workshop on remedial issues organized with support of Trust Africa, lamented the slow pace of implementing several pending remedial issues in the NEITI reports by relevant agencies of government.
On whether it was the federal government or the Federation that made the investment in the NLNG, Adio said: “If that money belongs to the federal government, it cannot be spent without appropriation. If it belongs to the Federation that money should be in the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC). The money at the very minimum belongs to the Nigerian public, the NNPC has a responsibility to account to Nigerians.”
Speaking further on issues flagged by the audits, Adio said, “We know how much oil we sell but we cannot scientifically and independently say that this is how much oil we produce, resulting in huge revenue loss to the Federation.”
The audits also raised questions about the propriety of NNPC retention of the 450,000 barrel per day allocation to domestic refineries when their actual refining capacity is just about 21percent of this figure.
To this end, civil society and media stakeholders have urged the federal government to sanction defaulting agencies for failure to implement remedial issues contained in the NEITI audit reports.
Other pending remedial issues in the NEITI reports include cash calls wrongly paid to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) by NAPIMS in respect of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company Joint Venture.
NEITI reports revealed that part of the money was refunded to NAPIMS who could not show evidence of remittance of same to the federation account. NAPIMS also failed to produce an appropriate authority to expend the refunds.