Missing $20bn: Federal Government Opens Up On Why It Can’t Publish Full Audit Report

The Nigerian government has finally explained why it has refused to disclose the full results of investigations into the alleged missing $20 billion oil money.

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The audit report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) accused of diverting the money, was ready in September 2014, Premium Times reports.

Since then the government has repeatedly declined demands to make the document public. But being under the pressure from the public and the All Progressives Congress (APC), the government issued a “highlight” of the report. According to it, the alleged missing $20 billion, exposed by a former Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, was a farce. It was also concluded that less than $2billion was missing.

With the general election just a couple of weeks ahead, the government has come under increased pressure to publish the full report.

The APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, has recently insisted that Goodluck Jonathan should release the full forensic audit report and publish it in national newspapers to allow Nigerians know how their money was spent.

Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in her interview with the Financial Times of London stressed that the government could not publish the report ahead of elections. She also added that only the country’s Auditor General has the powers to do so.

Furthermore, the minister said the government was not making the report public to avoid a “rabid opposition”- a reference to the APC – from finding “all sorts of minute detail [in the full report] to create concern”.

It would be reminded that the President Goodluck Jonathan on February 3, 2015, received the report of the forensic audit from Uyi Akpata, the country senior partner for PriceWaterHouseCoopers.

The presentation came shortly after a former Central Bank governor, Charles Soludo, accused the government of mismanaging the economy and refusing to public the audit report for all Nigerians to see.

The President didn’t shed light on the details of the report but assured that the document would be sent to the Auditor General of the Federation and also promised to introduce a reform into the oil sector.

In the interview with the Financial Times Mrs. Alison-Madueke highlighted that neither she nor Goodluck Jonathan were opposed to the publication of the forensic report. She however added that the report has “vindicated” her.

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