05 February 2015, Abuja – The forensic audit conducted by the audit firm of PriceWaterHouseCoopers on behalf of the Federal Government on the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has indicted the management of the national oil company for various questionable transactions.
Part of the recommendations include that the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, the upstream subsidy of the NNPC should refund about $1.48billion to the Federation Account for various unreconciled transactions.
President Goodluck Jonathan had on Monday publicly received the report a day after a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Chukwuma Soludo, wrote a long, acerbic article accusing the managers of the Nigerian economy of misappropriating over N30trillion of public funds, including several billions in oil money.
The forensic audit was commissioned following allegation by the immediate past Governor of the CBN, Lamido Sanusi, that about $20 billion oil money was missing from the NNPC.
The Presidency had on March 12, 2014 announced, through a statement by the president’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati, that it had authorised the engagement of reputable international firms to carry out the forensic audit of the accounts of the NNPC.
The allegation that the huge amount had been stolen was raised in 2013 by a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano.
Mr. Sanusi said as much as $49 billion was diverted by state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
He later reviewed the amount to $20 billion, and called for investigations after writing to President Goodluck Jonathan.
A Senate probe into the allegation yielded no result. Mr. Sanusi was later fired by President Jonathan after he was accused of “financial recklessness”.
The government said no money was missing, but promised a forensic investigation of NNPC.
In April 2014, the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, announced the appointment of the accounting firm, PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC), to conduct a detailed investigation into the accounts and activities of NNPC.
The minister said the investigation, under the supervision of the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, would take about 16 weeks.
That schedule meant at most by September 2014 ending, the report should have been ready. A two-month delay meant the report should have been ready by November.
But the government only publicly received the report on Monday.