CBN Governor, Sanusi, accuses NNPC of kerosene subsidy fraud, says $20 billion unaccounted for

CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi

CBN Governor Sanusi said more government funds are missing

Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido, struck a defiant tone again Tuesday, accusing state-run oil firm, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, of failing to pay to the federation account at least $20 billion of government oil revenues.

The Nigerian government and the NNPC in particular have come under intense scrutiny after a leaked letter from Mr. Sanusi to President Goodluck Jonathan last September showed how the NNPC failed to pay the huge oil sale money into government coffers.

In the memo, Mr. Sanusi said the firm cornered $49.8 billion- about N8 trillion- which is the equivalent of Nigeria’s entire budget in two years.

Despite data and documentation provided by the CBN governor, the government has denied losing money. At a meeting with the Senate Finance committee in December, Finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said a government inter-agency committee, which includes the NNPC and the CBN, had realized that “only” $10.8 billion was yet to be accounted for.

The traced sums were paid to other agencies of government like the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, the NNPC said.

The finance minister said the “reconciliation process” was ongoing and assured the outstanding $10.8 billion will be fully accounted for.

But more than a month later, the government has failed to account for the missing money. The Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, told the senate finance committee on Tuesday the delay was because the NNPC had failed to provide all needed documents.

He said the NNPC claimed it was still accounting for the missing money with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, which is in charge of subsidy managements. The corporation and the PPPRA have another one week to provide all required documents before the committee begins full examination of their responses.

Intrigues ahead of Senate hearing

The NNPC had earlier claimed, without providing proof, that the remaining $10.8 billion was used to maintain oil pipelines, and pay fuel subsidy, a claim that many Nigerians, including governors, have rejected.

Last week, lawmakers told PREMIUM TIMES exclusively how the presidency, the NNPC and the petroleum ministry mounted pressure on the Senate to jettison its investigation.

According to our sources, the government feared Mr. Sanusi, whose tenure ends June 2014, will expose even more damaging evidence of high wire fraud in the petroleum sector.

The government offered to back the hearing if the senate committee makes available to it Mr. Sanusi’s presentation, to enable administration officials prepare appropriate response.

To stem the pressure, the investigative hearing, originally billed for last Thursday, was rescheduled for Tuesday.

At the session, Mr. Sanusi accused the NNPC of not accounting for $20 billion.

The CBN governor said while he agreed some agencies such as the FIRS received other payments on behalf of government, available documents showed that the NNPC shipped $67 billion but only paid $47 billion into the government account.

“Let us know what happened to the remaining $20 billion,” he said.

Mr. Sanusi said the NNPC’s claim that 80% of the unremitted funds came in form of subsidy on kerosene cannot stand since a presidential directive had long barred such subsidy. “NNPC must show where it got the authority to buy kerosene at N150 and sell at N40, and then inflict the burden of loss on the federation account,” he said.

The CBN governor also accused the NNPC of illegally divesting the federal government’s interest in some oil wells in favour of two private companies, Atlantic Energy and Seven Energy and turning about to claim the proceeds from those wells were not for the government.

Also, on the NNPC’s claims of paying subsidy on behalf of government, Mr. Sanusi said the claims could not be credible since the NNPC had consistently rendered returns to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) indicating that it made no deductions for subsidy.

The NNPC again dismissed the new allegations, saying the CBN is not an auditing organization to understand its accounting.

‘‘Let me make this point clear, CBN is a banking outfit, not an auditing outfit. It is therefore understandable why they keep making unsubstantiated claims, which a little understanding of the technicalities of the oil industry would have saved them from making,” the NNPC’s group managing director, Andrew Yakubu, said.

“CBN is not an auditing outfit. But what it is doing now is auditing. We have no problem with auditing, but let the professionals, the certified bodies and agencies that are charged with this responsibility of auditing, to do their work,’’ he added.

The finance minister, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, and her petroleum resources counterpart, Diezani Alison-Madueke, did not attend Tuesday’s hearing. The committee chairman, Ahmed Makarfi, said they had been excused on health grounds.

Both ministers are to attend the next hearing next Thursday when the committee said it expects all required submissions to have been submitted.

Download Sanusi’s presentation at the senate here.


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  • Whatever the opinion we have about Sanusi, this CBN Governor is right on this one. Those criticising Sanusi seem to have forgotten that the CBN Governor had been in the saddle right from 2009 and understands the stream of inflows into the National treasury.The burden of proof lies with NNPC that has been giving numerous phony explanations thinking this will go away, it will not. It is sad that those of us who wholeheartedly support the change of power from the Hausa-Fulani oppressors and their cohorts, feel so ashamed to raise our fingers any longer.

    • PureNigerian

      Don’t mind those fools that criticizes Sanusi

    • Sword of Damocles

      Tell these thoughtless people, Now lets see if i can concentrate the mind: Our “Character-less” Presido got tjis letter on sept 23rd 2013. What did our “fearless do between this time & early December? NOTHING! ZERO!! Only when the letter was leaked did this “betrayer of our ancestors” demand a reconciliation. It is rumored that he was angry that the CBN Gov. wrote him the letter. An APC President wouldnt be worth his or salt, if they dont bring all looters dating back to 1985 to JUSTICE. When day breaks……

  • Abdul Nagge

    The worst thing is that all this looting will be finally be used my foreign countries. Our people stool take it abroad and invest, no Igbo, ijaw, Hausa, yoruba , or any other tribes in Nigeria will benefited from it. Even their owner will no claimed the huge figure he had abroad because what they have here in Nigeria their grand grand children can used and enjoy and past away.

  • Lanre

    Why shouldn’t the stealing continue? Tell me, O ye forsaken Nigerians. Obasanjo/Buhari =N=2.8b (in 1977/78 money. Please calculate how much that is in today’s money – Irikefe Tribunal) wetin happen? Shagari (Certified Government of Waste and Corruption overthrown by Muhammudu Buhari. Akinloye Champagne, Ali Baba Private Jet, Wayas Girlfriends, Dikko Oil Deals) wetin happen? Buhari (53 Suit Cases), wetin happen? Babangida ($12b oil money) wetin happen? Abacha (Known Switzerland Accounts. Hero in many parts of Nigeria. Family free to spend money as they like after settling with Obasanjo). Obasanjo ($16b power fund). Wetin happen? Yar’adua (Forget that one, Go ask Turai). Jonathan!!! (Baba o. I don’t give a damn. Bullet proof vehicles, $10.8b, $12b, $20b, $49.8b) Nothing go happen, my people. Abeg wey Fela, Third base jare. Yeye.

  • osogbo

    Celebrate courage and doggedness of Sanusi Lamido . We’ve had many CBN governors but they don’t have the backbone to say what they saw. This man has the talent to be a good president but in the Nigeria of mediocre and nepotistic the talent will be wasted. For the childish argument of prior corruption justify another, success start somewhere and prior offenders can be prosecuted only if the current ones are stop. You have to stop the leak to retrieve the spill .

    Chose leaders based on performance in prior position and their position on issues that are important to the Nation. 90% of Nigeria problem is curruption.

  • Whatever the opinion we have about Sanusi, this CBN Governor is right on this. Those criticising Sanusi seem to have forgotten that the CBN Governor had been in the saddle right from 2009 and understands the stream of inflows into the National treasury.The burden of proof lies with NNPC that has been giving numerous phony explanations thinking this will go away, it will not. It is sad that those of us who wholeheartedly support the change of power from the Hausa-Fulani oppressors and their cohorts, feel so ashamed to raise our fingers any longer.

  • SB

    Kudos to the CBN gov. People like him are rare in this country who will demand that the right thing is done even when they in the line of fire. And what the heck is NNPC talking about? What technicality is there in the calculation of money? Even if they are applying Laplace and/or Pythagoras theorem to calculate their income and expenses, is it beyond the reasoning of Nigerians that they can’t come with clean hands? Much more so that money is all addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You cannot fool everybody all the time….

  • Ide4u

    Money will continue to miss from NNPC as the long as the best known female thief in Nigeria is in charge. Frog-eyed Alison Madueke runs NNPC like a personal estate. Her front man whom she handpicked is Benard Otti, NNPC Group Account Executive who is executes looting on her behalf

  • Tonnero

    Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, I salute you.

  • PEOPLE

    SANUSI IS A NOISE MAKER. HE IS NOT QUALIFY TO BE CBN GOVERNOR.

    • killer

      Both sanusi and the nnpc and finance minister are all corrupt and the president it self

  • PEOPLE

    SANUSI IS AIDING LEBANESE TO LOOT NIGERIA. IF ANY BANK REFUSE TO GIVE LOAN TO LEBANESE, THEY REPORT YOU TO SANUSI AND HE SACK THE DIRECTOR

    • PureNigerian

      Provide prove or shut your dirty mouth.
      You don’t have shame?

  • Uche Micheal

    I am sorry Nigeria is finished. They had already planted this monater called Corruption and it has grown so big than any one can fight it hands down. Well, God is enough for the masses.

  • Enemona

    Loathe or love this man, you cannot but admire his tact and courage.

  • Adoki

    And the NNPC people will keep telling us that we all lack the technical capacity to understand how they spend money – like subsidy payments; like pipeline repairs. They must be a very special breed of Nigerians working in the NNPC!

  • Ikechukwu_67

    For where?? NNPC would soon come out with some bogus explanations ably supported by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala(PHD). I expect Ngozi to come out and insist that she only spoke about ‘missing’ 10.8 billion dollars which she would claim that NNPC had ‘satisfactorily’ explained how the money was disbursed.
    Wayo Wayo!!!

  • Olisekodiaka Japhet

    Mr Sanusi thanks. Kindly inform the GMD NNPC that apart from Mr Sanusi, 170,000,000 other Nigerians do not understand the ways of NNPC and of course, this includes Mr President himself!

  • ayekooto

    This is transforming corruption. Only God knows where it will take the country and her people.