By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA —Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, yesterday, reported Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to President Muhammadu Buhari for the inability of the corporation to remit to the Federation Account, Joint Venture Cash Call for five years.
Briefing State House correspondents after closed-door meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Chairman of NGF and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, explained that the country was shortchanged by NNPC for five years when oil price was high.
Regrettably, he stated, this took place when the Cash Call Joint Venture was high as the oil price was about $110 per barrel.
Explaining the reason for the meeting with the President, Governor Yari, flanked by Governors Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State and Simeon Lalong of Plateau State, said: “The meeting is on the decision of NEC (National Economic Council) that the seven-man committee was established to engage the NNPC and discuss a way forward so that we can resolve the issue that is outstanding, most especially, on the remittances to the Federation Account.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) the seven-man committee sat with the NNPC group and today (yesterday) we have come to brief the President.
‘’One of the things is about how they are paying the Joint Venture batch four and we have seen that what is being remitted to the Federation Account to the entire people of Nigeria is lower and what is being paid for the Cash Call Joint Venture is higher than what is going to the Federation Account.
So, we are concerned about that and NEC is concerned about that. So they told the committee under my leadership to engage with the NNPC to discuss a way forward.”
On the response of the President, he said: “The entire federation is being shortchanged by those activities. Since 2010, there were no payments of Joint Venture Cash Call by the NNPC when the oil was $110 per barrel up to when the President took over in 2015.
“So why the Federation Account is always low is because they are paying dual, paying the existing and at the same time paying the arrears.
“So we sat down with them to fine-tune how best we are going to get our partners to understand where we are more especially now the oil has started picking and the price is becoming moderately good and then we are slightly out of recession and we want to sustain that tempo.”
The governors who attended the meeting include Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State (PDP), Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State (PDP), Simeon Lalong of Plateau State (APC), Abdulaziz Yari of Kebbi State (APC), Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State (APC) Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State (APC) and Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State (APC)