lAs NNPC denies mismanaging $3.2bn NLNG fund
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate was yesterday told that Nigeria currently owes the International Oil Companies, IOCs $5.1bn in the Joint Venture Cash Call, JVC business arrangement it has with them.
Chief Financial Officer, CFO, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Alhaji Isiaka Abdulrasaq, made the disclosure when he appeared before the Senator Albert Bassey Akpan, PDP, Akwa Ibom North East -led Senate Committee on Gas that is investigating the alleged $1.05 billion withdrawn from the NNPC dividend in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG.
Meanwhile, at the panel yesterday, the NNPC denied any form of mismanagement or stealing from the alleged $3.2bn withdrawn from the NLNG account from 2015 till date.
The NNPC CFO, who noted that while Nigeria controls 60 per cent of the business venture, the IOCs control 40 per cent, said: “The problem however is that before this government came on board in 2015, Nigeria which holds 60 per cent of shares in the joint business, for many years did not contribute its own required capital into it but was only collecting its equity in the form of revenues which made the country, as at 2015, to be having $6.8 billion unpaid capital in the venture. But the present government in 2016 succeeded in getting 35 per cent discount from the unpaid capital amounting to $1.9 billion, making the country to be owing the IOCs $5.1bn now.”
On the alleged $3.2 billion withdrawn from the NLNG account by NNPC within the last three years, Abdulrasaq, who explained that there was no mismanagement in any of the withdrawals made, said that based on available records with them, 13 withdrawals made from the account amounted to $1.2 billion.
He however lamented that seven of the international oil companies dealing with NNPC have been apprehensive over continuity of their business operations as a result of bogus figures being bandied about withdrawals from the NLNG account.
Responding, Chairman of Senate Gas Committee, Senator Albert Bassey Akpan ordered the NNPC CFO to submit approving documents for all the withdrawals by Tuesday next week, saying: “We are not saying any money has been stolen . What we are doing is clarifying processes of expenditures made from the account with a view to making management of the account more transparent and beneficial to Nigerians.”