The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu on Tuesday accused the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, of presenting inconsistent and conflicting figures to the general public over the alleged missing crude oil funds.
At a public hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Finance to look into the alleged $49bn unremitted crude oil proceeds to the federation account yesterday, the CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had claimed that a sum of $20bn out of the $67bn crude NNPC sold on behalf of the Federal Government was yet to be reconciled.
It would be recalled that Sanusi had in a memo he wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan in September, 2013, alleged that $49.8 billion realised from the sales of crude oil between January 2012 and July 2013 were not remitted to the Federation Account by the NNPC.
When he was summoned before the Senate Committee on Finance in December to give insight into the letter he wrote on the controversial missing money, Sanusi recanted saying $12 billion and not $49.8billion was the amount discovered not to have been remitted to the account within the period.
The CBN governor’s seeming penchant for changing the figures at will did not go down well with the NNPC GMD, who expressed worry that such inconsistency was coming from a government agency charged with the responsibility of managing the country’s financial affairs.
According to Yakubu: “The figure is different from the $10.8bn he previously said was unaccounted for At the public hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday on the unreconciled $10.8B,CBN’s position suddenly changed. It will be recalled, that at a news conference held by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Governor of Central Bank and heads of DPR and FIRS, the initial figure of $49.8B was reconciled to $10.8B. On the same day, at the Senate hearing, the CBN gave a figure of $12B which was corrected by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy to $10.8B.
“Yet in today’s presentation, the CBN’s figure changed again. This time the CBN alleged it is now $20B. This is a clear indication of CBN’s inconsistency, thereby presenting conflicting figures to the generality of Nigerians. We are concerned by the dynamics of the moving numbers as the Central Bank’s figures keep changing. This is a worrying trend coming from an Agency of Government charged with managing the financial affairs of Nigeria.
“While the NNPC and other relevant government agencies are in the process of reconciling the $10.8B as accepted by all parties, we are surprised by the new $20B figure introduced by the CBN. According to the CBN, ‘the $20B is made up of $12B subsidy claim, $6B NPDC gross revenue and $2B third party revenue’. It is worthy to note that the CBN accepted NNPC submission with respect to $16B royalty and PPT payments into the Federation Account through the FIRS. This indicates that the CBN cherry picks the figures”, the NNPC boss said.
He explained: “For example in taking the entire $6B gross revenue accruable to NPDC and allocating same to the Federation Account, CBN simply multiplied the gross production by the crude oil price; thereby failing to account for the operating costs (opex) and amortized capital expenditure that underpin the production. In other words, the CBN failed to take into account the cost of production.
“We reiterate that NPDC has been remitting the royalty and Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) to the Federation Account. NPDC as a subsidiary of NNPC operates a business model similar to other international companies in Nigeria and abroad and will continue to be governed by these global best practices in the execution of these assets.
“Regarding the subsidy claim on kerosene, it is important to note that the NNPC as the supplier of last resort is the only company supplying this product in Nigeria for the benefit of the citizenry. If kerosene has been deregulated why are the independent marketers not supplying this product in line with what is applicable to diesel (AGO). NNPC owes a duty to Nigerians to ensure that there are adequate products in the country. This mandate has without question been accomplished in the past four years. The NNPC deserves to be commended rather than battered, for ensuring adequate supply of kerosene at regulated price of N50.00k.NNPC cannot be held responsible for any differential pricing from non-NNPC retailers. This is the basis for NNPC’s claim on kerosene subsidy”.