$49bn oil fund not missing – Senate

Senator David Mark

Senate President David Mark

11 July 2914, Abuja – The Senate has cleared the air on the alleged missing $49 billion oil revenue as it said there was no missing fund as alleged, but un-remitted funds which should be remitted to the Federation Account. 

The Senate, while adopting the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Finance Committee report on the alleged missing money as claimed by the former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano, also rejected the Federal Government’s plan to remove the subsidy on the petroleum products, saying government should embark on sensitisation of the public because of the effects it would have on the common man.

The Senate further mandated its committee on finance to follow up and receive the forensic audit reports from the Auditor General of the Federation and the PriceWaterhouseCoopers, PWC, and also study and report back to the Senate as soon as possible.

On SURE-P funds

In a 21-point recommendation, the Senate accepted the subsidy deducted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, from January 2012 July 2013 of US$5.254 billion (N813,803 billion) since it was certified by Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, and appropriated by the National Assembly.

It asked NPDC, a subsidiary of the NNPC, “to remit to the Federation Account $447.8 million being balance of royalty and petroleum profit tax.”

According to the recommendation, “NNPC should refund and remit to the Federation Account $262 million being expenses it could not satisfactorily defend in respect of Holding Strategic Stock Reserve; Pipeline Maintenance and Management Cost and Capital Expenditure.”

Other recommendations include: “The President should prepare and present to the National Assembly supplementary budget to cover the expenditure in the sum of N90.693 billion ($585 million) for PMS subsidy for 2012 and N685.910 billion ($4.430 billion) for kerosene subsidy expended without appropriation by the National Assembly in 2012 and 2013.

“The Senate should, however, note that the proportionate expenditure (January 2012 to July 2013) was N813.8 billion ($5.254 billion) for PMS, while DPK was N486.57 billion ($3.512 billion).

“It is for the National Assembly to approve or not approve such request or take any other measures it deems necessary.”

The committee said NNPC should not pay operational expenditures direct from the Federation funds without appropriation by the National Assembly.

Blasts NNPC

The panel further observed that “there was poor record keeping and nonchalant work attitude by the NNPC by not rendering returns on subsidy claims on monthly basis from January 2012 to date which contributed largely to creation of the problem in hand.”

Senate further stated, “Gross Liftings of NNPC on behalf of NPDC from January 2012 to July 2013 was US$6.815 billion. Government share of revenue to the Federation Account was US$2, 175,635,436.

“Accountant General of the Federation confirmed the payment to the Federation Account by NPDC as US$1,727,817,552. Therefore, NPDC should remit to the Federation Account the sum of US$447,817,884 being balance of Royalty and Petroleum Profit Tax, PPT, with interest.

“Gross lifting under the Third Party Financing was US$2,430,750,973 out of which share for Federation Account was US$1,588,242,004. The AGF confirmed and gave documentary evidence showing the sum of US$1,370,172,650.36 was remitted to the Federation Account. Therefore, NNPC should remit the balance of US$218,069,354.32 to the Federation Account.

“NNPC to refund and remit to the Federation Account the sum of US$262 million being expenses it could not satisfactorily defend in respect of Holding Strategic Stock Reserve; Pipeline Maintenance and Management Cost and Capital Expenditure.

“We have noticed that no proposal is made in 2014 Appropriation Bill for subsidy on Kerosene, DPK, and that for PMS also looks inadequate. Therefore, only what is appropriated should be spent by the executive.”

Mark commends c’ttee

The Senate President, Senator David Mark, who presided over the session commended the committee for presenting a courageous report based on the facts that were presented to it, stressing that the committee was forthright by paying attention to details in the course of their assignment.

Mark said: “At the inception of the 7th Senate, I did say emphatically that there is no issue in this country that we cannot discuss as respected and distinguished senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“If we have the courage to set up a committee, nothing will stop us from taking the report of that committee and nothing will be swept under the carpet.”

– Vanguard

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