The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said that parts of the $12.9 billion dividends it received from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd are now captured in the Treasury Single Account stationed at Central Bank of Nigeria
The Corporation responded to some enquiries made at the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Stakeholders’ Dialogue on the 2013 audit report of activities in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
The 2013 NEITI audit report said the NNPC received about $13 billion as NLNG dividends over a period of eight years but failed to remit to the federation account.
Responding to this at the side-line of the meeting, NNPC’s Group General Manager, Debt Management, Mr. Godwin Okonkwo said that the corporation had not committed any illegality in the management of the fund.
He said the Corporation at the moment is no longer housing the money in line with the federal government’s directive on the Treasury Single Account (TSA)and had since moved the balance of the dividend to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He listed other projects such as the BrassLNG and OlokolaLNG projects, as well as other gas projects as other beneficiaries from the dividend. The BrassLNG and OlokolaLNG projects have however remained on the ground.
NNPC explained that the reinvestment in NLNG was part of its equity share of the cost of such expansion in its trains. The NLNG currently has six trains which produce 22 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG.
He said the “Before now, the position is that the NLNG belongs to the federal government and the NNPC is an arm of the federal government. The NLNG dividends are there and if there was any kobo that went out of it, it was done with the approval of the federal government.
“No kobo leaves the NLNG dividend without appropriate approval. Part of the spending for NLNG dividends was the development of NLNG trains, BrassLNG and OlokolaLNG and is not right for anybody to say the money is now missing,” said Okonkwo.
He further stated: “And with the current regime who says the NLNG belongs to the federation, the balance of the NLNG money has been moved over to the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria). The money is not with the NNPC.”
In his address, the Executive Secretary NEITI, Waziri Adio said the essence of the dialogue is to find amicable ways of reconciling the missing figures in the audit among the stakeholders.