The Nigerian Senate Thursday formally faulted the allegation by former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the new Emir of Kano, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that a total of US$49.8 billion oil money was missing from the nation’s Federation account due to the inability of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to account or remit them.
Adopting the report of its Finance Committee which investigated the matter, the Upper Legislative Chamber, however, rejected the committee’s recommendation that subsidy on petroleum products be removed.
But the Senate endorsed the recommendation of the committee that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) be given accelerated passage as a way of curbing the corruption in the industry.
Sanusi had last year written to President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing the NNPC of non-remittance of a total of US$49.8 billion into the Federation Account, representing 76 per cent of the value of crude oil lifting from January 2012 to July 2013.
The controversy over the missing oil fund resulted in the suspension of Sanusi from office last February. His term expired on 1 June, 2014, and he was pronounced the new Emir of Kano last year following the death of the former holder of the office.
After an exhaustive debate on the report submitted by chairman of its committee on Finance, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the Nigerian Senate stated that “there was never any unremitted US$49.8 billion. The committee could not see how the figure of US$49.8 billion was arrived at by the CBN governor in the first instance.”
Other recommendations of the committee which was accepted include:
“That the Senate accepts the subsidy deducted by NNPC in the sum of $1.2 billion (N180) billion for fourth quarter of 2011 since it was certified by PPPRA and appropriated by the National Assembly. This is without prejudice to the outcome of forensic audit conducted by the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation and PWC:
“That the Senate accepts the subsidy deducted by NNPC from January 2012 to July 2013 of $5.254 billion (N813,803 billion) since it was certified by PPPRA and appropriated by the National Assembly:
“That President Goodluck Jonathan should prepare and present to the National Assembly, supplementary budget to cover the over expenditure in the sum of N90.693 billion for PMS subsidy for 2012 and the sum of N685.919 billion for kerosene subsidy expended without appropriation by the National Assembly in 2012 and 2013:
“That National Assembly should expeditiously pass the Petroleum Industry Bill”
But the committee stated that all the agencies, which made presentations to it, agreed, after reconciliation, that US$47 billion out of the US$67 billion had been credited to the Federation Account, leaving only US$20 billion yet to be accounted for.
According to the report, part of the outstanding US$20 billion was the US$5.254 billion spent on subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, which was covered by the Appropriation Acts of 2012 and 2013.
The report also stated that the US$3.512 billion spent for kerosene subsidy as certified by PPPRA for the period January 2012 to July 2013 was still part of the US$20 billion.
Key findings of the committee as listed in the report are:
“1. The total crude oil lifting from January 2012 to July 2013 was US$67billion and not US$65billion as the CBN former Governor had presented;
2. There was never any unremitted US$49.8 billion.
3. All the agencies CBN, NNPC, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Petroleum Resources had agreed after reconciliation meeting that US$47billion out of the US$67billion had been credited to the Federation Account., amount to be accounted for therefore was US$20biliion;
4. The sum of US$5.254billion PMS subsidy certified by PPPRA part of the US$20bilslion to be accounted for was adequately covered by the Appropriation Acts 2012 and 2013;
5. The sum of US$3.512 billion DPK subsidy certified by PPPRA for the period January 2012-July. 2013 being part of the US$20 billion to be accounted for was not appropriated by the National Assembly;
6. The total sum certified by PPPRA for kerosene (DPK) subsidy not appropriated for by National Assembly was N353.370 billion (US$2.282 billion) for the year 2012 and N332.539 billion (US$2.148 billion) for 2013 respectively making total for the two years N685.91 billion (US$4.430 billion);
7. CBN Governor posited that part of the US$6 billion out of the US$20 billion to be accounted for; representing lifting by NNPC on behalf of NPDC should belong to the Federation Account. The amount determined as share of Federation Account was US$2.175,635,436;
8. CBN Governor only demanded for PPPRA certification of N180 billion by NNPC (US$1.2 billion) being fourth quarter 2011 subsidy withheld by NNPC. This was part of the US$20 billion to be accounted for;
9. The National Assembly had appropriated the sums of N888.101 billion and N971.138 billion in 2012 and 2013 for petroleum subsidy;
10. CBN Governor only asked for details and evidences supporting the US$2billion Third Party Financing liftings. This is also part of the US$20biilion to be accounted for;
11. The Honourable minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy recommended further forensic audit of the subsidy’ deductions by NNPC and the certification by PPPRA;
12. The Auditor – General for the Federation in conjunction with PWC are currently’ conducting forensic checks on NNPC accounts in relation to the issues under consideration and their report will be forwarded to the Senate Committee;
13. This Committee report only covers accounting for US$67billion crude oil revenue between January 2012 – July 2013.
President of the Senate, Senator David Mark declared after the report was adopted that both the Legislative and Executive arms of the Federal Government were guilty in the failure to fight the inefficiency in the Petroleum industry.