The purported failure of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to remit $49.8bn (about N8tn) crude oil sale proceeds to the Federation Account between January 2012 and July this year took a different turn yesterday as the management of the government-owned oil firm accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of politicizing the matter.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, described the allegations raised by CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido in his memo to President Goodluck Jonathan as baseless.
In the said memo dated September 25, 2013, which was leaked online this week, Sanusi had complained about the failure of the NNPC to remit the said amount to the Federation Account in contravention of extant laws.
He said the amount represented 76 per cent of the total value of crude oil lifting during the period.
But speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, Yakubu said, “I want to say that the allegation is unfounded, it is baseless and it has become a political instrument in the current politically charged environment. And we consider this as an attempt to ridicule NNPC staff and the management.
“We are taken aback because this issue came up about four months ago and we made our clarifications to the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources four months ago and for it to surface at this time that the political atmosphere is charged, then we find it difficult to understand”.
The NNPC GMD explained that the revenues from crude oil lifting were in various categories namely equity crude, Petroleum Profit Tax, royalty, third party financing and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company.