The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has summoned the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, over an alleged withdrawal of $20.30bn from the account of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
The committee’s chairman, Wole Oke, weekend said Kyari was to answer an audit query issued by the Auditor-General of the Federation on the alleged illegal withdrawals.
He said details of the funds withdrawn were contained in the documents submitted to the committee by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
Oke said the documents were on the need to ‘investigate the illegal withdrawals from the NLNG dividends’ account by the NNPC management.
Details of the document
He said the document showed that of $21.686 billion revenue accrued into the NLNG dividend account from 1999 to 2020, the NNPC allegedly expended $20,300,772,850 from the account leaving a credit balance of $1,384,875,073.39 as of June 30, 2020.
The document stated: “$100 billion was generated by NLNG in sales revenue since inception. The company also have paid over $18 billion as dividends through NNPC and $6.1 billion as Company Income Tax (CIT) through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
“In addition, the company also said that over $15 billion has been expended by NLNG for the purchase OF FEEDSTOCK GAS FOR ITS OPERATIONS.
“Furthermore, between April, 2002 and March 2007, the company paid a sum of $450,000 as Licence Fees and as sum of N28,696,259.30 as NLNG Licence Renewal between the period 1999 and 2017 to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
“With respect to the payment of dividend, the NLNG reported that it has fully paid all dividends due to the Federation Account to NNPC”.
RMAFC Chairman, Elias Mbam, had, in a recommendation to the committee on the matter said “the commission does not support any diversion of revenue that should accrue to the Federation Account for whatever reason, as the practice is illegal and conflict with section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“That the NNPC or any other agency does not have the powers under the law to withdraw money from the NLNG Dividend Account for any other purpose outside remitting it into the Federation Account”.
The Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Kennie Obateru, neither answered several phone calls made to him nor replied SMS and WhatsApp messages sent to him last night by one of our reporters seeking a reaction.