Nigerians governors have said there is no record to show that the alleged missing $49.8bn was paid into the Federation Account or was duly appropriated.
They said because of this, the National Assembly should institute what they called a comprehensive forensic audit into the matter.
This was one of the resolutions reached at the end of the meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum, which was held in Abuja on Wednesday night.
The meeting, which was held at the Rivers State Governors’s Lodge at Asokoro District of Abuja, was presided over by the chairman of the Forum, who is also the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.
At their last meeting, which was held in Abuja on December 12, 2013, the governors said they were going to confront President Goodluck Jonathan on the alleged refusal of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to remit the amount to the Federation Account.
The governors based their decision on the revelation made by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, in his letter to the President that the NNPC had failed to remit the money, which was said to be the proceeds from crude sales between January 2012 and July 2013.
The said amount was said to have represented 76 per cent of the value of crude oil lifting during the period, in which the NNPC was said to have remitted $15.5bn, representing a paltry 24 per cent of the total value of $65.3bn.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Amaechi, who was flanked by his colleagues, said, “We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, at our meeting today, at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, deliberated on a number of issues and resolved as follows:
“On the issue of the missing $49.8bn (N8.5tr) or equivalent of two years of the National Budget, there is no evidence that this amount was paid into the Federation Account or duly appropriated.
“We accordingly call on the National Assembly to institute a comprehensive independent forensic audit by an international reputable firm.
“We fear that the recent decline of state revenues is not unconnected with the financial diversion.”