Sanusi berates NNPC over poor oil revenue remittance 

FORMER Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has berated the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPCL) over its poor revenue remittance to the federation account. 

He challenged the NNPCL to give account of the dollar inflows from its operations amid the rising volatile exchange rate.

Sanusi said this on Thursday, December 7, at the opening session of the 2023 Bank Directors’ Summit with the theme: “Emerging Issues: Navigating the Complex Balance Between Regulation and Compliance,” organised by the Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN).

“We are no more paying the subsidy on Petroleum products, so where are the dollars? Sanusi asked.

He expressed concern over President Bola Tinubu’s role as the Minister of Petroleum, adding that it would not solve the non-transparency issues of the national oil company.

“A minister has to be there to be held accountable. When I was the CBN Governor, I could attack Dieziani. Now, if you talk, you’re attacking the President,” he added.

…warns against amendment of CBN Act

Sanusi also warned against any move to remove the independence of CBN and subject it to political manipulations, saying this could be dangerous to the economy.

He said the CBN Act remained one of the best laws in the world, adding that the solution was not in changing the bank’s law but in ensuring its implementation.

Speaking on the current forex liquidity challenge in the country, the former Emir of Kano said the question about the NNPC earnings would continue to linger.

Sanusi recalled that the question about non-transparency at the NNPC cost him his job as the CBN governor during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan when he blew the whistle over missing $20 billion at the national oil company.

He said he would continue to demand answers to queries on the NNPC’s activities until the organisation is properly reformed.

He said the current fiscal challenges resulted mainly from the inability of the National Assembly to do proper oversight on the CBN, on exceeding the limit of overdraft lending of CBN to the Federal Government.

    Sanusi described the NNPC as the most opaque institution in the world.

    Tinubu, who was represented at the summit by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy,  Wale Edun, stated that funding liquidity in the foreign exchange market, though a short-term solution, remained critical for the economy.

    Tinubu said it was only a matter of time before short, medium and long-term funds would be mobilised across the spectrum.

    He said, “Regulators must partner with industry to promote innovations that drive financial access, and banks have a duty to embed integrity and transparency into our culture and technology systems.”

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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