27 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) will meet on Monday to reconcile the discrepancies in financial data submitted at its last meeting.
The FAAC meeting scheduled for last Thursday was unexpectedly called off due to stated discrepancies in the oil revenue receipt reported by the NNPC.
However, the corporation has insisted that it remitted all the required funds to the FAAC, saying the challenge has to do with the interpretation of the data submitted.
Confirming the re-scheduled meeting, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Nghamadu told reporters, “The NNPC is meeting FAAC on Monday. The NNPC remitted what was expected. There were issues that were raised regarding the data that was submitted. Hopefully, it would be resolved next week.”
“We remitted. There was an issue raised regarding the data. It was more of ‘interpretation of the data.’ Hopefully, it will be resolved next week”, Mr. Ughamadu added.
Following the discovery of the discrepancies in the records, the Chairman, Forum of Finance Commissioners of FFC, Mahmoud Yunusa, said the meeting had to postponed till further notice following directives from their respective state governors.
The FFC Chairman, who is also the Adamawa State Finance commissioner, said the FAAC would only reconvene after all the discrepancies have been reconciled and the revenue figures in the accounts sorted.
Although Mr. Yunusa had hinted of an emergency technical meeting next week between the finance commissioners and the state accountants-general, to review the situation, it was learnt on Saturday that the enlarged FAAC meeting is scheduled to reconvene on Monday to attempt to thrash out the alleged discrepancies.
The monthly meeting usually held to consider and approve revenue allocation to the three tiers of government was abruptly adjourned indefinitely when members found that the details of revenues actually remitted to the Federation Account for sharing did not add up to what was earlier presented to the FAAC Secretariat.
The FAAC, which has the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, as Chairman, also has the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, as a member.
Other members of the committee include the Accountants-General and Commissioners for Finance in the 36 states of the federation, along with representatives of government revenue-generating agencies, namely the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the NNPC.
The issue about discrepancies in records of revenue remittances to the Federation Account has been a recurring decimal in NNPC’s operations over the years.
Between 2011 and 2012, the NNPC was indicted for withholding from the Federation Account about N450 billion it realised from the sale of the country’s crude oil.
A FAAC audit had found out that the revenue, which should have been remitted to the Federation Accounts in compliance with the requirement of the Constitution for all government revenues, was diverted for other purposes without approval from the National Assembly.
Consequently, the FAAC panel had recommended the Corporation to refund the entire money by paying about N6.33billion every month in over 67 installments.
The repayment, which commenced in September 2011 was completed in June 2017, according to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse.
Again, in March 2016, a new report by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) titled: “NNPC draws a blank check,” also indicted the Corporation for allegedly withholding billions in oil revenues from the government account.
According to the NGRI, within the first half of the first year of the Buhari administration, the NNPC withheld over $4.2 billion (about N824.7 billion) out of a total of $6.3 billion (N1.24 trillion) revenues realised from crude oil sales in the second half of 2015.
The report said the withheld revenues represented about 66 percent of the total – $1.4billion earnings from Nigeria’s regular crude oil exports for the period, while $3.4 billion from domestic crude oil sales, and $1.5 billion from oil sold from the corporation’s upstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC oil fields.
The report said only $2.1 billion (about N413.7 billion) was transferred to the Federation Account.