08 March 2017, Abuja — The Senate Committee on Downstream was shocked Tuesday when it was told by a subsidiary of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, that it spent whopping $9 million on mere staff transfers.
The agency which also told the lawmakers that its total budget was $168 million in 2016, also said it spent another $2 million on vehicles’ maintenance.
The agency, represented by its General Manager, Catherine Ngozi Iheme, provoked the committee by the submissions.
“On staff transfers, we are part of the NNPC group and sometimes, you have to transfer staff in and out of NAPIMS. So the transfer cost is $9 million,” she had said.
The committee, therefore, demanded the details of the $168 million budget which the agency promised to make available at the next meeting.
NAPIMS which was giving 2016 budget performance at the meeting, also had a running battle with the committee over the exchange rate used by the agency throughout the 2016 budget.
When the committee asked NAPIMS about cash calls, Iheme said: “Recall that the Senate had raised issues on our cash calls for 2011 to 2015 and we have been working to reconcile the books. So we just felt that we should present an update for 2016 that is why we just presented it.
“The total revenue budget was short by 28 per cent as at the end of the year on what we have planned that’s oil and gas the revenue receipt was short by 28percent. In actual funding of the JV, we had a whopping minus 45 percent shortfalls in joint venture releases. This definitely created the gap we had in our production,” he said.
Also yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said almost N42 billion of about N117 billion unclaimed dividends had been paid out to investors in recent times.
The commission attributed the move to aggressive campaign for the elimination of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market.
The Director General of SEC, Munir Gwarzo, disclosed this on Tuesday at a one-day public hearing on the need to determine the status of unclaimed N90 billion dividends in SEC for Nigerian investors.
Gwarzo said efforts by SEC to address the rising cases of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market was already yielding results with the e-dividend registration system.
He said consequently, unclaimed dividends have dropped from N117 billion to N75 billion.
“As of today, based on the reports we received from the registrars, almost N42 billion unclaimed dividends have so far been paid out of a total of N117 billion unclaimed dividends as of 30th of December, 2016, which means our message of unclaimed dividends is yielding positive results,” he said.
*Omololu Ogunmade – Thisday