The recent revelation from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it spent the yet-to-be-reconciled $10.8billion on behalf of the Federal Government may have stoked the ember of the allegation of non-remittance of $49.8bn oil revenue levied by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The $10.8bn which was meant to be paid into the Federation Account, was spent on subsidies and other expenses since 2007, according to NNPC.
According to the Corporation, the outstanding money is largely made up of the value of oil stolen by thieves, the cost of pipeline repairs, spending to maintain strategic reserves of oil products, and unpaid subsidies on kerosene and premium motor spirit (PMS) or petrol.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there was no where it was stated or admitted by any of the parties in the course of the press conference or anywhere else that the sum of $12 billion or $10.8 billion out of the alleged unremitted $49.8 billion was missing,” said Omar Farouk Ibrahim, general manager, media relations, NNPC in a statement.
“The truth of the matter is that as at the time of the press conference, $30 billion of the alleged unremitted oil revenue had been reconciled by all the parties involved. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala did explain that the reconciliation was an ongoing process and that the balance of $10.8 billion was still being reconciled,” Ibrahim said.
It would be recalled that in a joint press conference with Sanusi and Diezani Alison-Madueke, petroleum minister on December 18, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, coordinating minister of finance had said “misconceptions and misunderstandings” had led to the accusation of $49.8 billion unaccounted for. The CBN governor, in a letter written to President Goodluck Jonathan had late last year alleged that NNPC failed to remit $49.8bn to the Federation Account between January 2012 and July 2013.
“On the issue of $49.8 billion or 76 percent of total national liftings and the alleged unremitted funds, we would like to clarify that this represents the proceeds from Royalty and Petroleum Profit Tax liftings.