The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Friday gave details of the contentious $10.8 billion crude oil fund, saying the money was not missing.
The amount is part of the $49.8 billion alleged to have been unremitted to the Federation Account by the NNPC.
Mr Bernad Otti, the Group Executive Director, Finance and Accounts Directorate of NNPC, at a press briefing in Abuja declared that “the $10.8 billion, which is currently the subject of ongoing inter-agency reconciliation exercise, is not missing.”
“The sum in question has been expenditures incurred as part of statutory responsibilities, which the NNPC, as the national oil company, executes on behalf of the Federal Government,” he said.
He explained that issues surrounding the alleged $49.8 billion said not to have been remitted, were clarified at a joint press conference by NNPC, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Petroleum Resources in December, 2013.
“There was no where it was admitted by any of the parties in the course of the press conference that the sum of $10.8 billion out of the alleged unremitted $49.8 billion is missing,” he said.
He said that $30 billion out of the alleged unremitted oil revenue had been reconciled by all the parties involved, adding that the yet-to-be-reconciled $10.8 billion could be located in the expenses on some of the corporation’s responsibilities.
Otti said that the responsibilities were those NNPC usually carried out on behalf of the Federal Government with respect to domestic crude oil utilisation.
According to him, the expenditure and responsibilities included the sum of $8.49 billion of unpaid subsidies on kerosene and Premium Motor Spirit and $1.22 billion for pipeline management and repair.
“Others are $0.37 billion, the cost of holding strategic stock reserve for petroleum products and $0.07 billion, which accounts for products and crude oil loses”, he added.
He explained that the associated costs of stolen and spilled products and crude oil, repairs and maintenance, and downtime of the refineries constituted a significant part of the yet-to-be-reconciled figure.
“The corporation is left to bear these responsibilities on behalf of the Federal Government. The cost incurred in this mandate is part of the $10.8 billion yet-to-be-reconciled outstanding figure”, he stated.
The director said that all the parties involved in the reconciliation process were aware of the “facts”, adding that the figures were being thoroughly scrutinised.
“It is therefore incorrect for anyone to continue to misinform the public that the sum of $10.8 billion of oil revenue is missing”, he said.
He claimed that the services being rendered by NNPC were critical to the development of the national economy “which no corporation will perform without being paid up-front by the government”. (NAN)