BY CHRIS OCHAYI
ABUJA - The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, last night countered reports credited to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, alleging that it withheld the sum of $49.8bn representing 76% of the total crude oil revenues from January 2012 to July 2013.
The General Manager, Media Relations Department of the NNPC, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, explained that the allegation was borne out of misunderstanding of the workings of the oil and gas industry and the modality for remitting crude oil sales revenue into the Federation Account.
The Corporation maintained however that it was available at all times to meet with all relevant stakeholders to clarify issues.
According to it, “for the avoidance of doubt, it needs to be stated that the figure of 594.024 million barrels of crude oil given by the CBN as the total crude oil lifting for the period of January 2012 to July 2013 does not represent the correct picture of crude oil lifting for the period. From our records, the correct figure is 618.55m barrels. This shows that the CBN understated the actual crude lifting by 4.13%,.”
Ibrahim said that “revenues from crude oil liftings are in various categories, namely Equity Crude; Petroleum Profit Tax, Royalty, Third Party Financing and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC. Revenues from each of these categories are statutorily collected by different agencies of the government. The NNPC collects only one of the aforementioned categories, namely Equity Crude.
“Petroleum Profit Tax is collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Royalty goes to the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Third Party financing goes for Research, Development, Program and Satellite fields Development, while NPDC goes to NPDC for upstream development.
“While NNPC pays proceeds from Equity crude directly to the Federation Account with the CBN, the FIRS and DPR pay PPT and Royalty respectively into the Federation Account with the CBN. The sum total of these proceeds make up the alleged unremitted revenues, Dr. Ibrahim stated.
“The 24% of total crude oil revenue receipts which the CBN governor is reported to have acknowledged that NNPC remitted represents the proceeds from the equity lifting which NNPC is directly responsible for. The alleged unremitted 76% was paid to the agencies that are statutorily empowered to receive them for onward remittance into the Federation Account”, Dr. Ibrahim explained.
Ibrahim stressed the need for institutions of the Federal Government and top government functionaries to seek understanding of issues that are not clear to them from relevant agencies rather than go public with misleading information that is capable of creating public disaffection. He expressed NNPC’s availability at all times to meet with all relevant stakeholders to clarify issues.