By Michael Eboh
THE Nigeria Extractive Industries Trans-parency Initiative, NEITI, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to commission an independent investigation into the alleged misappropriation of $15.8 billion by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, over a 15-year period, from 2000 to 2014, .
NEITI, in a statement in Abuja, said the amount was dividends and loan repayments by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company, NLNG, to NNPC over the period.
It said, “Since the Federation’s shareholding in NLNG is held through NNPC, dividends are paid to NNPC, which should remit same to the Federation Account. However, NEITI’s audits have revealed that until 2015, NNPC failed to remit the interests and dividends from NLNG to the Federation Account.”
Speaking on the issue, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, stated that the highest payments to the NNPC were from 2008 to 2014, when the NLNG paid a total of $12.96 billion to the corporation but same were not remitted to the Federation Account.
Adio noted that these payments were traced to NNPC accounts by its independent auditors but observed that there was no trace of NNPC’s remittance of the money to the Federation Account as required by sections 80(1) & 162 (1) of the constitution.
To this end, he said, “The Federal Government should institute an independent investigation into the status and utilization of all dividends and loan repayments by the NLNG to NNPC from 2000-2014.”