All parties held two-days of closed-door meetings.
The meeting convened to reconcile claims and counter-claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, over the alleged missing $49.8 billion (about N8trillion) oil revenue resolved a bulk of the disputed figures.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Wednesday, at the end of two days of review of records and reconciliation of figures, that about $10.8 billion (about N1.74trillion) revenue shortfall recorded between January 2012 and July 2013 for domestic crude receipts were yet to be reconciled, as the NNPC was still disputing the figure.
The Minister said the shortfall was as a result petroleum subsidy claims, unrecovered crude/products losses and cost of strategic petroleum storage products, which is currently not captured in the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA’s template for refunds.
The meeting was convened in the wake of the controversial letter by the CBN, governor, Lamido Sanusi, to President Goodluck Jonathan alleging that the NNPC systematically diverted more than 76 per cent of revenues realised from crude oil sales between January 2012 and July 2013, paying only 24 per cent of the proceeds into the federation account.
But, Mr. Sanusi, who said he was speaking on the issue publicly for the first time, denied issuing a public statement, pointing out the CBN only wrote a letter to the President that unfortunately found its way to the press.
The CBN governor who described the letter as “an invitation to begin investigation”, rather than “the end or conclusion of audit or investigation”, said the bank was merely expressing its concern about the declining excess crude revenue despite the sustained high oil prices at the international oil market.
Based on pre-shipment inspection agents data, Mr. Sanusi said the CBN observed that between January 2012 and July 2013, the NNPC lifted about 594.02million barrels of crude oil valued at about $65.3billion, though amount remitted into the Federation Account at the CBN was only $15billion.
The CBN governor said the huge gap of about $50 billion (about N8trillion) raised concerns, which informed the allegation raised in the letter to the President.
“We have since found out that of the $65billion crude oil that NNPC shipped, $24billion did not belong to the NNPC. It was crude oil paid for by oil companies. The outstanding issue is with $28billion domestic crude taken by the NNPC. From our record, we have $15billion shortfall, which is said to be part of an ongoing discussion,” Mr. Sanusi said.
But, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said the NNPC in its presentation said actual proceeds from crude oil exports for the period was valued at about $67.12billion ( about N10.74trillion), which was higher than the CBN figure by $1.79billion (about N286.4billion).
She attributed this to either timing difference or crude oil liftings by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, not covered in the CBN records.
The NNPC said the $67.12billion revenue was made up of about $14billion (about N2.24trillion) that accrued directly to the NNPC and additional revenues realized from crude oil lifted by NNPC on behalf of other parties.
This included $15billion (about N2.4trillion) oil lifting on behalf of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, for oil tax; $2billion (about N320billion) on behalf of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, for Petroleum Profit Tax, PPT and oil Royalty; $6billion (about N960billion) for NPDC equity crude allocation and $2billion (about N320billion) for other third party financing.
In addition, the NNPC said crude lifting for domestic consumption amounted to about $28billion (N4.48trillion), paid in Naira directly into the Federation Account, not captured in the CBN’s foreign account with J.P. Morgan.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, who attributed the controversy to some misconceptions and misunderstanding between the two agencies, noted that though there were some shortfalls that the NNPC and Ministry of Finance have been trying to reconcile through the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, the meeting was able to identify the various accounts for the amount
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke said the issues of the revenue has since been acknowledged by the NNPC, though the extent was being disputed, adding as part of an ongoing reconciliation in FAAC, efforts were being made to get the real figure.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke said to reduce the high incidence of crude oil theft in the country, government has initiated various steps, including collaboration with the U.S. government to come up with security strategies to curb the problem
She said in the last two weeks, the efforts of government has helped reduce crude oil losses by about 350,000 barrels, from 2.02 million barrels per day, BPD, to 2.38 million BPD, assuring that the efforts would be sustained to bring the loss further down.
The reconciliation meeting, which began on Monday, was held behind closed doors at the Board room of the NNPC’s corporate headquarters, with representatives of the DPR, FIRS, CBN, NPDC, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, MPR, and Office of Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, and Budget Office of the Federation in attendance.
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