The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has reversed his position on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC’s unremitted $49.8 billon being proceeds from oil sales, saying he never said the sum was missing.
Sanusi who appeared before the Senate committee on finance on Wednesday, said he only asked for investigations into the matter, adding that “in truth, there is no missing money. Chairman, we did not see the letter as a conclusion of our investigation, but an invitation to investigate.”
“So, the conclusion that $49.8 billion was missing was wrong, even though we had the allegation that it was un-remitted,” Sanusi said.
According to him, after reconciliation meetings with a technical team from the bank, the ministry of finance, ministry of petroleum resources, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, and the Department Of Petroleum Resources, DPR, the CBN discovered a shortfall of only $12 billion.
Sanusi also expressed regrets that a private letter written to the President was leaked to the public and pleaded for more time to enable the CBN, NNPC and all relevant agencies come up with a collective figure.
“What I would like to do is, given the progress we have made, to request that we be given little more time to continue with this process and come back with the final position that is a common position among us if the committee will so grant us,” he requested
However, the Senate says it will continue investigations into the matter.
Speaking earlier, Senate President, David Mark, noted that the controversial amount was still an allegation but stressed that it was a serious one.
“At this point, all that we have is an allegation, but it is a serious allegation. The essence of this public heading is to establish the fact. It’s for us to get facts so that when we come back we can make useful and meaningful contributions,” he said.
He urged members of the committee to remains unbiased and deal with the matter objectively according to available facts.
Sanusi had alleged in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan dated September 25 that the NNPC had failed to remit $49.8 billion between 2012 and 2013 but the NNPC had said that no money was missing.