The Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Tuesday, told the Senate Committee on Finance that out of the $67 billion crude oil sale that was supposed to be remitted to the federation account only $47 billion has been reconciled between the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, leaving a balance of $20billion unaccounted for.
But Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Ahmed Makarfi cautioned the CBN Governor over making wild and unsubstantiated allegations without concrete and specific figures to back his claims.
Sanusi came up with a new figure of about $20 billion unremitted funds to CBN against the initial figure of $10.8 billion which was arrived at during the account reconciliation meeting involving the Ministry of Finance, NNPC and CBN during a public hearing on alleged unremitted $49.8 billion oil revenue organized by the Senate.The CBN Governor while making the new allegation stated, “all we have said as CBN to which there is no disagreement is that NNPC shipped $67bn worth of crude, they have repatriated or we have established that $47bn has come back to the federation. There is a $20bn that has not come back to us. The burden of proof is on NNPC.”
Meanwhile, the NNPC in a statement issued in Abuja by Dr Omar Ibrahim, the Acting Group General Manager of Public Affairs Division of NNPC, dismissed the CBN governor’s allegation, stating that this was not the first time the CBN governor would be making wild allegations about the NNPC.
The statement recalled that Sanusi made the allegation on Tuesday in his presentation before the Ahmed Markafi-led Senate Committee probing the allegation of unremitted $49.8billion oil proceeds.
It quoted the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu as saying that Sansui’s claim on the existence of an unremitted $20billion is far from the reality on ground.
It said this will be proved when investigations were concluded.
It expressed surprise that even after extensive clarification on the matter, the CBN was still confusing the role of NPDC as part of NNPC’s upstream operations.
The statement faulted Sanusi’s claim that NPDC’s gross earnings ought to be remitted to the Federation Account, explaining that the company was a limited liability outfit registered under CAMA to do business.
“Let me make this point clear, CBN is a banking outfit, not a petroleum outfit.
“It is therefore understandable why they keep making unsubstantiated claims, which a little understanding of the technicalities of the oil industry would have saved them from making.
“CBN is not an auditing outfit. But what it is doing is now auditing. We have no problem with auditing, but let the professionals, the certified bodies and agencies that are charged with this responsibility of auditing, do their work’’, it stated.
It explained that the issues raised by Sanusi were not fresh at all and would be eventually reconciled by the Inter Agency Committee established to settle the $49.8 billion saga.
“Our position remains the same and we remain open to all stakeholders. These are issues that are currently before the reconciliation committee and before now it has been a subject of monthly verification before FAAC and other stakeholders”, it stated.
It reiterated what the Director-General of Budget had said at the hearing that a lot of progress had been made in the reconciliation of the $10.8 billion.
It expressed the hope that the final report would be ready, and NNPC vindicated, by the time the committee meets next week.