Revelations have been made on how the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) generated about N8.1trillion but paid only N4.3trillion to the federation account between 2012 and May 2015.
This was the disclosure of Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday, where he cited new details from the federal economic council meeting.
According to Oshiomhole, the balance of the oil money, put at about N3.8trillion, was withheld and spent by the NNPC without approval or National Assembly appropriation.
The governor also told journalists, after the meeting, that from November 2014, about $2.1billion was withdrawn from the excess crude account without the approval of the National Economic Council (NEC).
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday, dissolved the board of the NNPC, to pave way for full investigation of the corporation, and the body led by Oshiomhole said Monday’s meeting was the first time the NNPC and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, briefed the NEC, as directed by the president.
“This has never happened before and for us this is profound. We are talking about transparency, we are talking about change. And what we saw from those numbers I believe that Nigerians are entitled to know, is that whereas the NNPC claimed to have earned N8.1 trillion, what NNPC paid into the federation account from 2012 to May 2015 was N4.3trillion.
“What it means is that NNPC withheld and spent N3.8 trillion.
“The major revelation here is that for the entire federation — that is the federal government, the states and all the 774 local governments — the amount the NNPC paid into the federation account for distribution to this three tiers of government came to N4.3 trillion and NNPC alone took and spent N3.8 trillion.
“Which means the cost of running NNPC is much more than the cost of running the Federal Government. That tells you how much is missing, what is mismanaged, what is stolen, they are huge figures.”
“If NNPC needs to spend money, it is obliged to prepare its budget like every other business enterprise. That budget will be scrutinized by the executive and forwarded to the National Assembly and the National Assembly will accordingly appropriate it.
“If the federal government cannot spend without appropriation, why should any agency spend without appropriation?”
The Edo state governor also noted that president Buhari promised that henceforth, all monies must go to the federation account.
“What you need you budget for, Nigeria cannot continue with you earn the money and spend it. Where is transparency? Where is the role of the National Assembly? So if you were doing that you won’t have a situation where the NNPC alone will spend N3.8 trillion and remit to the federal, states and local governments N4.3 trillion which means NNPC is taking about 47 per cent and that explains all the leakages you are talking about.”
“We are not reinventing the wheel, that is the way it used to be and that is the way the constitution says it should,” he said.