$49.8bn oil fund: Sanusi lied – Senate

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By JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA—The Senate, yesterday, said that the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi lied by saying that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, misapplied $49.8 billion accruing from crude oil sales. It said that only $20 billion or N3.26 trillion was missing.

It said that it could not see how Sanusi arrived at his allegations that the money was missing.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, PDP, Kaduna North, who made this known yesterday, said that contrary to Sanusi’s allegations, there was nothing like any unremitted $49. 8 billion.

This was contained in the report submitted by the committee at Senate plenary, yesterday.

Makarfi said that his committee made rigorous investigations into the allegation, but could not see how Sanusi arrived at the missing money.

CBN Gov, Sanusi and Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison-Madueke

CBN Gov, Sanusi and Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison-Madueke

“The committee could not see how the figure of $49.8billion was arrived at by the (former) CBN Governor in the first instance,” the Committee added.

It noted that the total crude oil liftings between January 2012 and July 2013 was $67 billion and not $65 billion as the suspended CBN Governor alleged.

“There was nothing like unremitted $49.8 billion. All the agencies-CBN, NNPC, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources had agreed after reconciliation meetings that $47 billion out of the $67 billion had been credited to the Federation Account. The amount to be accounted for, therefore was $20 billion,” the committee observed.

Sanusi had claimed in his letter to President Goodluck Jonathan that $49.8 billion from crude oil revenue was missing, prompting nationwide outrage.

However, the Makarfi Committee’s report cleared the NNPC and the Ministry of Petroleum of any shady deals and directed the NNPC and the Ministry of Finance as well as other relevant agencies to reconcile another $300 million.

The committee observed that $ 5.254 billion PMS subsidy claims certified by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, as part of the $20 billion to be accounted for was adequately covered by the Appropriation Acts of 2012 and 2013.

The committee’s report further noted that the “CBN Governor at the first hearing had put forward the figure of $12 billion as monies to be reconciled and changed his position to $20 billion at subsequent hearing. In the conclusion of his written submission, that it could be $20 billion, $12 billion, $10.8 billion or anything in between, the CBN Governor orally or in writing never outrightly submitted that monies were missing but that monies were not remitted to the Federation Account by the NNPC.

The report further recommended the immediate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke continues to sanitise the industry.

It equally recommended the abolition of subsidy regime, saying, “there is the need for the subsidy regime to be totally discontinued with.

“All stakeholders should be consulted and carried along as much as possible before abolishing the subsidy,” it added.

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