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You connive with Swiss firms to defraud Nigeria, NEITI tells NNPC

BY EMMAN OVUAKPORIE & LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU

ABUJA—THE Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed yesterday faulted claims by the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the corporation did not connive with some Swiss oil dealers to short change the country to the tune of $6.8 Billion.

Mrs Ahmed also alleged that the sum of $22.8 billion was not disclosed by NNPC in its audited financial statements through alternative funding arrangement with its joint venture partners.

The NEITI Boss based her allegation on the 2009 2011 audited report of her organization.

According to Ahmed, who testified before the House of Representatives joint committees on Petroleum Resources, Upstream, Petroleum Resources Downstream and Justice probing the allegation, the country lost N98.3 billion to NNPC in exchange rates compared to Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN official exchange rate between the period.

She also insisted at the hearing Bernes revelation on NNPC was true.

Minister of Petroleum, Alison-Madueke and NNPC GMD, Andrew Yakubu
Minister of Petroleum, Alison-Madueke and NNPC GMD, Andrew Yakubu

Her claims on Bernes were further substantiated by her organization’s Executive Secretary who said that “there is similarity in NEITI audit report and the Bernes Declaration report”, stressing that, “the report (Bernes Declaration report) has a lot of substance in it”.

Going further, Ahmed also faulted the allocation of 445, 000 barrels per day for local refineries through NNPC saying that, “the 445,000 barrels per day allocation should be reviewed to the actual refining capacity of the refineries”

Also testifying, the Managing Director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr Haruna Momoh told the committee that Nigeria was not losing $8 billion annually through swap arrangement of crude oil between NNPC and some foreign oil companies.

Ruling on the issues, the Committee Chairman, Honourable Ajibola Muraina  adjourned the investigative hearing till March 25.

He also mandated the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Acting Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Executive Secretary of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA among others to appear before the Committee on the date.

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