Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday uncovered how the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) paid N443 billion without budgetary provision.
This is even as the committee also summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN over the alleged disappearance of $9.5million interest from Investment Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude.
The committee, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South) has therefore summoned the management of the NNPC to explain the expenditure without appropriations.
This was contained in the report of the Auditor General for the Federation, 2016 report which is being considered by the committee following a query issued the NNPC on the constitutional breach.
The query reads in part: “During the examination of subsidy records provided by FAAC, it was observed that total subsidy paid during the year 2016 was N443,940,559,974.80.
“Oil marketers- arrears for 2014 paid in 2015 -payments during the year 2016 without interest was N403,321,449,046.76 with interest & forex differential N40,619,110,928.04 totalling N443,940,559,974.80 subsidy deducted at source by the NNPC.
“This reflects continuing weaknesses in the budgeting process adopted by the Federal Government.”
The Accountant General of Federation, Ahmed Idris told the committee that the NNPC will be in better position to explain the extra-budgetary spendings.
However, the invitation of the CBN was sequel to the 2016 Auditor General Report which accused the apex bank of failing to present documents supporting the investment for verification.
The Senate observed no letter supporting the investment of the fund while the actual amount invested were not made known.
The query reads: “During the examination of transfers to Forefinger Excess PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Accounts, it was observed that during the year 2016, amount totalling $6 million and $3.5 million were credited to the Foreign PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Account as interest on Funds investments.
“The authority for placing the funds which yielded the above interests totaling $9.5 in deposit account, the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest were no made available for audit verification.
“This observation had also been a subject of my reprts since 2017 without any positive response from Central Bank of Nigeria
“Records made available for audit further revealed that the balance in the foreign PPT/Royaltt and Foreign Excess Crude a accounts as at 28th December 2016 were USD0.00 and USD, 251,826 respectively
“This suggest the foreign PPT/Royalthy was depleted before the year end
“The Accountant General has been requested to provide the authority for the funds invested, tenor of the investment, rate unrest payable, certficate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verification.”
The Accountant General was unable to present any document on the issue raised by the committee, but told the lawmakers that the Office of Accountant General has sent a letter to the CBN for clarification on the issue raised.
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