22 September 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja- The Nigerian House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Joint Committees on Finance, Petroleum Upstream and Downstream and Gas to investigate the modalities of NNPC’s revenue remittance to the Federation Account.
NNPC’s refusal to remit N450 billion into the Federation Account had stalled the monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
The NNPC has, however, accepted to pay the money in 32 installments.
This resolution by the House was sequel to a motion by Rep. Samson Osagie (ACN-Edo), the Minority Whip, and unanimously adopted by the House.
Leading the debate, Osagie said that the corporation’s refusal to remit revenue accruing to it to the Federation Account violated the provisions of Section162 of the 1999 constitution.
“This seeming violation of the constitution by the NNPC is against the principles of constitutional democracy. The NNPC, as a major revenue earner for the federation, has not been administered in the most transparent manner,” he said.
He said Nigeria as a mono product economy dependent on oil revenues deserved to have a transparent and accountable revenue system.
The lawmaker maintained that there was a need for the House to strengthen its oversight function in order to track revenue leakages.
“There is a need to beam our searchlight on all MDAs to ensure that all revenues are paid into the federation account,” he said.
He said no meaningful development would be achieved without adequate remittance of revenue to the Federation Account.
Rep. Dagogo Peterside (PDP-Rivers) said that in 2005, the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparent Initiative rated the NNPC as the least transparent agency in the country.
Rep. Andrew Uchendu (PDP-Rivers), who attributed the problem to the failure of the House to carry out its oversight activities in the corporation, said concerted efforts must be made to monitor it.
Rep. John Enoh( PDP-Cross River ) said that corruption had done a lot of damage to the existence of Nigeria as a nation.
He stressed that if the country must move forward, the issue of accountability must be taken seriously.
Rep. Mustpha Khabeeb(PDP-Jigawa) advised the committee to ensure that it got to the root of the matter by indentifying those withholding the money.