Sanusi Insists $20 billion Is Missing, NNPC Denies Allegation

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on Tuesday insisted that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC was yet to remit $20 billion to the nation’s account in the apex bank.

Sanusi made this position known when he appeared before the Senate committee on finance investigating the alleged missing $49.8 billion.

He said the unremitted $20 billion was part of $67 billion oil proceeds between January 2012 and July 2013.

“It is established that out of the 67 billion dollars crude shipped by NNPC between January 2012 and July 2013, $47 billion was remitted to the Federation Account. It is now up to the NNPC to prove that $20 billion unremitted either did not belong to the federation or was legally and constitutionally spent. There is no dispute that $20 billion out of the $67 billion has not been paid into any account with the CBN,” he said.

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But the NNPC has dismissed the allegation as baseless.

The acting group general manager public affairs, Omar Farouk Ibrahim, expressed surprise that in spite of extensive clarification on the matter, Sanusi was still confusing the role of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC as part of NNPC’s.

He said: “Let me make this point clear that CBN is a banking outfit, not a petroleum outfit. It is therefore understandable why they keep making unsubstantiated claims, which a little understanding of the technicalities of the oil industry would have saved them from making. The CBN is not an auditing outfit but what it is doing now is auditing.”

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The NNPC is expected to make its own presentation before the Senate committee on February 13, 2014.

Earlier, the director-general, Budget Office of the Federation, Bright Okogu, pleaded with the committee for a week to reconcile and conclude accounts with the CBN and NNPC.

He said that reconciliation had been going on with the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, and that after the first meeting, the groups discovered that the outstanding payment was about $10.8 billion against $49.8 billion announced in the media.

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“We request that the chairman of the committee should give us another one week to finish on the documents we already have,” he said.

Chairman of the finance committee, Ahmed Makarfi, directed all the parties involved in the remittances and reconciliation to ensure that the verification and reconciliation were concluded before the adjourned date.

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