Timothy Odah is the head of the committee of finance commissioners of the 36 states and Abuja.
The Chairman, Finance Commissioners Forum, Timothy Odah, said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) accepted that it owed the Federation Account.
Mr. Odah, the Commissioner for Finance in Ebonyi, made the revelation in Abuja when he briefed journalists on the outcome of Friday’s monthly Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.
He said the NNPC representative at the meeting admitted that the organisation owed the federation, and acknowledged not remitting the exact amount it generated.
PREMIUM TIMES had published a letter written by the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, to President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing the NNPC of failing to remit $49.8 billion to the Federation Account between 2012 and 2013.
The NNPC had in an initial response accused Mr. Sanusi of ‘ignorance’ with his allegations.
Mr. Odah, however, said the actual amount of its indebtedness would be determined at the next FAAC meeting.
“The NNPC has admitted that truly they owe the Federation Account and by that information, we referred the deliberation on the figure of what they say they owe to the next FAAC meeting.
“This is so that the technical committee will be able to examine NNPC accounts before we will be able to publicise or accept the figure they have quoted,’’ he said.
Mr. Odah said the NNPC’s acknowledgment of its indebtedness to the Federation Account over revenue it had failed to remit was “important’’ and described it as a welcome development.
“You know previously that it has always been a matter of controversy.
“They say they don’t owe and sometimes they will say that it is the federation account that owes them, but this time they have accepted that they owe.
“Although, the difference between what we claim they owe and what they claim they owe, is very marginal,’’ he said.
Mr. Odah also said the FAAC technical sub-committee would begin to work on measures to further scrutinise remittances by the NNPC in order to avoid such occurrences in future.