By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA — THE on-going Adhoc Committee investigating the $17 billion stolen crude oil and liquified natural gas to foreign destination, yesterday, unearthed $15 billion unremitted revenue into Federation Account for four years.
The committee also discovered that the alleged missing funds were contained in the two separate documents submitted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
This came to the fore as NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Rabiu Bello, admitted to the committee that there were discripancies in the documents before it.
In his presentation, Jack Ukitetu, Central bank of Nigeria, CBN, Director, who represented the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, explained that the Accountant-General of the Federation approves and determines the money accrued into the Excess Crude Account.
Ukitetu, who explained that before 2006, the CBN collected the money on behalf of government’s agencies and remitted same into the Federal Reserve Account in New York and charged 0.25 percent, however, noted that after 2006, the oil companies paid directly what was due to the government.
On commissions being collected by the apex bank, the CBN representative told the lawmakers that the CBN collects 0.25 percent via forex allocation and does not charge Federal Government one kobo as its deductions are made from central sales.
The CBN representative, who disclosed that the crude oil account was maintained by JP Morgan, however, admitted that in making the transfers, the money could be misdirected to another account by the financial institutions.
He added that the apex bank has no Statutory power of oversight to demand for details of the transactions made by NNPC.
The committee at this point, asked him to bring the total commissions deducted by the apex bank from 2011-2014 within the next one week.
Meanwhile in his presentation, Waziri Adio, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, who accused NNPC and CBN of misleading the Adhoc Committee, pleaded to withdraw the earlier documents submitted.
He, however, pledged to submit “more damaging documents” on the alleged crude oil theft to the Adhoc Committee tomorrow, that will help in unearthing the unremitted revenue accrued from oil and gas but not remitted.
Earlier, Abdulrazak Namdas,APC, Adamawa, chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee threatened that the Ad-hoc Committee would not hesitate to submit its report to the House without the input of major Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, which fail to honour the invitation of the committee.
To this end, the Adhoc Committee mandated the apex bank and NNPC to submit the audited report of the oil and gas account showing the remitted funds into the Federation Account between 2011 and 2014.
The Corporation was also mandated to submit Bill of Laden relating to the 974,721 barrels of crude oil lifted on October 20, 2011; 961,963 barrels lifted on October 10, 2011; 974,935 barrels of crude oil lifted on July 9, 2011 as well as 974,953 barrels of crude oil lifted on July 18, 2011 but were not declared.
The lawmakers also requested for report of the reconciliation conducted by NNPC and Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, as well as the list of oil off-takers for 2013 and 2014.
Similarly, the Corporation is expected to provide details of the companies that paid oil tax between 2011 and 2014, as well as the Letter of Credits (LCs) of all the monies paid into the Federation Account within the period under review.