NNPC sponsoring attacks against me – el-Rufai

Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna state.

Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna state.

*As NEITI says $13.7bn oil money stolen in 3 years

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

30 July 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has accused the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, of sponsoring media attacks against his person ever since he called for the scrapping of the Corporation.

El-Rufai, who disclosed this during a meeting yesterday with officials of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, said, however, he would continue to fight on till NNPC, as it is known today, is dead.

According to him, “NNPC has become a monster and too powerful. I will continue to fight NNPC till it dies for Nigeria to survive. It’s either Nigerians kill NNPC or NNPC kills Nigeria.

“Since I called for the death of NNPC, the corporation has sponsored articles attacking me but I am telling them my skin is thicker than an elephant’s. The NNPC can’t bribe us the four governors.”

El-Rufai is one of the four governors appointed by the National Economic Council, NEC, to scrutinise the accounts of NNPC and the Excess Crude Account, ECA, managed by the last administration.

The committee is to unravel the whereabouts of the N3.8trn not remitted to the Federation Account by NNPC between 2012 and May 2015 as well as $2.1bn said to have been deducted from the ECA.

El-Rufai added that corporation would pay all the monies owning before its final death.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency
Initiative, NEITI, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that about 160 million barrels of oil valued at $13.7bn was stolen between 2009 and 2012.

Ahmed made this known when she was handing over the dossier of corrupt practices by the NNPC to the Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.

In her presentation on how billions of dollars oil revenue was not remitted to the Federation Account by NNPC, the NEITI boss revealed that between 2009 and 2012 alone, about 160 million barrels of oil valued at $13.7bn was stolen.

While calling on the Federal Government to privatise the nation’s refineries, Ahmed said although subsidy payment from 2005 to 2012 captured that $11.631bn had been paid to NNPC, there was no evidence of the money being remitted to the Federation Account.

“Crude Product Swap worth $866m was lost from 2009 – 2011 and $82.43m in 2012. Total amount expended in subsidy payment from 2005 to 2012 as captured totalling $11.631bn have been paid to NNPC.

“However, there is no evidence these amounts were remitted to the Federation Account,” she disclosed.

Meanwhile, Edo State Government has said it is planning to seek legal redress to compel a refund of all monies due to it from the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole made this known yesterday at a Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, post-mortem sub-committee national seminar on the role of gas in Nigeria’s economy, which held in Benin City.

At the seminar, it was disclosed that Nigeria was still endowed with abundant gas resources and potential for unprecedented growth that leaves the nation with about 188 trillion cubic feet in gas reserve as at January 2015.

Oshiomhole, who maintained that Nigeria could not continue with “business as usual,” said, “We all know that the DPR is not a revenue-collecting agency, the DPR is a regulator.

“Assuming without conceding that the DPR is a revenue collecting agency, which section of the
Constitution empowers the DPR like any other institution to deduct money from source? That is clearly a criminal breach of the letter and spirit of the Constitution. I am sure that President Muhammadu Buhari will not tolerate further breach of the Constitution.”

He stated further, “If President Buhari talks of impunity, it is not just about President and Ministers, it is also about small players like NIMASA and DPR.

“It is a public secret that the total budget for DPR, assuming that budget was a fair budget in the first place, is about N4bn and in one month, they deducted 4 per cent of certain accruals from royalties and others amounting to over N2bn.

“If your annual budget is about N4bn and you collect N2bn in one month, that means in a year, you are going to collect N24 to N30bn when your total expenditure is not more than N4bn.

“This is not only illegal, it is unjust and it is unacceptable and I dare say that we must compel DPR to refund the money.”

He added that, “Edo State Government will pursue its share of the money because we have not authorised the DPR to take it. We have a right to go to court. We cannot all keep quiet even in the face of everyone abusing power.

“As part of today’s postmortem, we want to know how much NIMASA has earned over the years under President Jonathan, that was never transferred into the Federation’s Account and how much is the money.

“We would like to know how much NPA (Nigerian Port Authority) transferred into the Federation Account, if they did not, how much did they earn and how much is the money. The good thing is that in matters of this nature, time does not run against the state, particularly when the breach is criminal in nature.

“As part of your recommendations, the NNPC and NLNG must give a realistic time-frame within which Nigeria will stop flaring gas.”

In an address, Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMFAC, Mr. Elias Mbam said the seminar was organised to explore ways of harnessing the nation’s gas resources so as to enhance the revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefits of all the tiers of government.

Mbam concluded that Nigeria was endowed with abundant gas resources that hold great potentials for unprecedented growth. “As at January 2015, Nigeria has 188 trillion cubic feet in gas reserve,” he said.

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