$6bn deal: Senate committee’s report ready next week

Senate-Chamber514 March 2014, Abuja – The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said on Thursday that the report of forensic audit of the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as it related to the $6bn third-party financing deal would be ready for submission next week.

Makarfi stated this at the investigative hearing of the committee on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s allegation of unremitted $49.8bn to the Federation Account by the NNPC, which was held at the new Senate wing of the National Assembly.

He said the President of the Senate, David Mark, had approved the hiring of the forensic experts by the committee to enable it to determine the NNPC’s share of  the $6bn third-party crude arrangement, which it executed through the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company.

Makarfi said the independent report would make the committee to form an opinion on the expenses and losses totalling about $2.1bn, based on the NNPC submissions and its accounting for the money.

He explained that the Senate did not have the required financial resources to hire a forensic expert to audit the $8bn, which the finance minister had said was still being reconciled.

The lawmaker added that the Ministry of Finance, which had the resources to hire forensic experts, was, however, not legally and constitutionally empowered to do so.

Makarfi said, “We found out that they (Ministry of Finance) don’t have the legal basis to hire forensic experts. Can the National Assembly so? Yes. As a committee, we cannot appoint auditors to go into the executive arm but we can go anywhere and ask anything.

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