Fireworks as NNPC, Auditor-General disagree over unremitted N4.076trn

Heated debate ensued Tuesday at the Senate, between the Auditor – General for the Federation, Aghughu Adolphus, and the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, over alleged unremitted N4.06 trillion into the federation account.
This is as the Senate Committee on Public Account probing the allegation, directed NNPC officials to come up with more detailed explanations on how it expended the money on other items within the next seven days .
The Office of Auditor – General, had in its 2016 Audit report, alleged NNPC of non remittance of N4.076trillion into the federation account from operational proceeds made between 2010 and 2016.

Findings into the allegation , were sought by the Senate Committee on Public Account at its session Tuesday , where  Olutoye Agesin represented the Auditor General in his capacity as the Director of  Public Accounts and  Umar Ajiya represented the NNPC GMD , as  the Chief Finance Officer ( CFO).

But while  the NNPC  Chief Finance Officer in his submissions before the Committee,  explained that the alleged unremitted  N4.076trillion was spent on other critical areas of operations which were not taken cognizance off by the office of Auditor General of the Federation in the 2016  Audit report , Agesin countered by saying required explanations were not given for such spendings .

The NNPC  CFO in debunking the allegation said the alleged unremitted money was  expended on oil pipelines  repairs , domestic fuel supplies which were heavily subsidized , security and management matters .

“Infact , Mr Chairman , Distinguished members of this Committee, from such expenses made within the stated period , it is even the federal government owing us N239billion.” he said.
He added that response to the query had been sufficiently made in the forensic audit conducted later , reports of which were forwarded to the Office of the Auditor General and this August committee.
“The forensic audit has been done, the auditor general has a copy of the forensic audit. At the end of the day that forensic audit established that NNPC was owing about N797billion  but also on the other hand,  the federation was also owing NNPC, the net effect was that the NNPC was being owed N239 billion , so there is nothing like N4tr withheld by NNPC. 

“The books are with the CBN, you can’t hide N4tr anywhere. It has gone through the consumption of PMS and that is why everybody has to be involved with respect to deregulation,” he explained.
But Agesin in his own counter submission , admitted that though  a copy of the forensic report was received by them in the Office of Auditor General but explanations given by NNPC on alleged spendings made with the N4.076trillion were not factual with required evidences of spendings.

“N4 trillion is  not a small amount of money that can just be said to be spent on pipeline repairs and oil subsidy within five years .
“Line by line details of such spendings ought to have been made in the NNPC ‘s response to the query,” he said.

Most members of the committee like Senators  Ayo Akinyelure ( PDP Ondo Central), Ibrahim Abdullahi ( PDP Sokoto South), Suleiman Kwari ( APC Kaduna North) etc, supported the representative of the Auditor General by telling the NNPC CFO to give detailed accounts of how the money was spent.

Consequently, the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia ( APC Jigawa North East ), directed the Chief Finance Officer of NNPC to furnish the committee with the required details within a week, upon which the query will be vacated or sustained.
He therefore ruled that the query stood down for a period of one week.

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