NNPC owes Nigeria $22bn, N316bn – NEITI
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries have been indicted for non-remittance to the tune of $22 billion and N216billion to government.
Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, made the disclosure to newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
Adio said that “audits of the oil and gas sector carried out by NEITI show that the NNPC and its upstream arm, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), have failed to remit $21.778 billion and N316.074 billion to the Federation Account”.
Adio said the funds were due from three main sources, which he listed as: federation assets divested to NPDC; the company’s legacy liabilities payment for domestic crude allocation to NNPC; and dividends from investment in Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) paid to the NNPC.
He said the unremitted funds fell under the categories of the full payment for the 12 Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) divested from Shell and Agip Ventures as well as NNPC divestment of 55 per cent of its stake in the Shell JV valued at $1.8 billion by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
The audit revealed that cash calls amounting to $552 million were erroneously paid on these divested assets by the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), the investment arm of NNPC.
The NPDC was said to have refunded $424million to NAPIMS, but the money was not remitted to the Federation Account.
NEITI added that the NPDC was yet to refund $148.278 million and N2.42 billion from the cash calls mistakenly paid to it.
It added that unremitted revenues in this category include arrears of liabilities of taxes, royalties and levies, leaving the amount owed by the NPDC at $5.531 billion and N72.435 billion.
Adio said the NNPC explained that it withheld the funds to pay for downstream related operational costs and subsidies.
Waziri called on the government to recover the money and use it to put the economy on a sound and sustainable footing.
He added that the “OMLs that had not been fully paid for should be retrieved from NPDC, revalued and auctioned to enable the country get proper value for them”
The NEITI chief called on the government to “investigate the status and use of NLNG dividends from 2004 to 2014.
“Criminal proceedings should be instituted against anyone found wanting”.