The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has asked the Federal Government to put in place urgent measures to recover the sums of $21.778 billion and N316.074 billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
NEITI in a policy brief released yesterday, said findings from a series of its audits of the oil and gas sector showed that NNPC and its upstream arm, NPDC, have failed to remit the monies to the Federation Account.
All the monies, it said, at current exchange rate, came to about N7.2 trillion which NNPC and NPDC still owed the country.
Giving details of the unpaid revenues, NEITI said $21.778 billion and N316.074 billion were amounts due from three main sources: federation assets divested to NPDC and NPDC’s legacy liabilities; payments for domestic crude oil allocation to NNPC; as well as dividends from the country’s investment in the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) paid to it but withheld by NNPC.
The transparency agency explained that if 20 per cent of these monies were recovered, it could fund significant parts of the deficit in the 2017 budget, while one-third of it could completely eliminate any need to borrow to fund the budget.
It added that the unremitted funds can be used by the 36 states in the country and the Federal Government to fund recoveries from economic recession.
According to the NEITI, while the NPDC owed the federation $5.531 billion and N72.435 billion as considerations for divested oil assets and revenues accruing from them, the NLNG paid a total of $15.8 billion dividend to NNPC. NNPC acknowledged receipt but failed to remit same to the Federation Account.
Additionally, NEITI said the NNPC still owed N243.639 billion to the Federation Account as unpaid balance from its management of the 445,000 barrels per day (bpd) domestic crude allocation (DCA) to its refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt, as well as $424.185 cash call refund from another of its subsidiary – the Nigerian Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, told reporters at the unveiling of the brief that such huge revenue could not be withheld by the NNPC and NPDC while the government searched for funds to get the country out of recession.
He revealed that the agency had briefed the Economic Management Team (EMT) headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and would expect it to act on it.