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Jonathan never confirmed NNPC withholding $10bn – Presidency


The presidency on Tuesday refuted reports quoting President Goodluck Jonathan as “confirming” in Amsterdam that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wrongly withheld $10 billion from the federation account.

Reuben Abati, the senior special adviser to the president on media and publicity, made the denial in a statement in Abuja.

The statement described the report as “completely false and a total distortion of the president’s comments during his meeting with the Nigerian community in The Netherlands.

“Sensational reports in the media to that effect are reckless, mischievous and unprofessional misrepresentations of the president’s restatement to the Nigerian community of the Federal Government’s position on the allegation that $20 billion is “missing” from the NNPC or the federation account by reporters who were not at the event or even in Holland at all,’’ it said.

The statement said the president’s speech while responding to questions from members of the community on the allegation and other domestic issues were clear and unambiguous.

It said the president asserted that the allegation that various sums – $49.8 billion, $12 billion or $20 billion – were missing were inconsistent and lacked credibility.