The Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) has resolved to use necessary legislative measures to uncover alleged secret accounts of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
The committee said that the NNPC management was allegedly maintaining a secret reserve from which it was drawing funds without compliance with the laws.
The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Magnus Abe, made this known during the defence of the NNPC 2013 budget proposals.
Mr. Abe said that the NNPC had persistently failed to present relevant details of its financial operations to the satisfaction of the lawmakers.
He said that the 1999 Constitution, as amended, empowered the National Assembly to inquire into NNPC accounts, adding that the provision was superior to the Petroleum Act.
He described the presentation made by the management of the corporation as “unserious, full of contradictions and one that failed to reconcile its revenue generation.
“We want to know where the reserve is located, how much money is there, the account number, the signatories to the account among other details relating to the reserve,’’ he said.
The chairman criticised the management for presenting a budget which highlighted only the details of its expenditure without a corresponding outline of its revenue profile for the year 2012.
He said that capital and operation expenditure presented by the NNPC showed that the corporation was spending more money than its income but could not account for sources of the additional funds.
Mr. Abe directed the NNPC to furnish the committee with proper documentation within two days or risk appropriate sanctions.
Earlier, the Group Coordinator (Planning and Strategy) of the NNPC, Timothy Okon, had informed the Joint Committee that 162 million barrels of crude was lifted by the corporation between January and September 2012.
He said out of the 162 million barrels, only 44 million barrels of crude was processed in the country while the balance was refined abroad and brought back to the country.
The NNPC Group Strategist also said that out of the revenue projection of N4.02 trillion for 2012, the corporation had collected N2.3 trillion as at September.
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