Reps declare N320bn missing from crude oil remittance

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From Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Hon Abdulmumuin Jibrin, last weekend declared N320billion missing from the remittance by the Nigeria Nationl Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He said that the sum of N1.516 trillion was paid in by NNPC into the Federal Government treasury.

Jibrin noted that what Nigerians want is total remittance of revenue generated from oil sales and not crude oil sales figures declared recently by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. He said: “It should be noted that this is after taking into consideration, payments for Joint venture cash calls (i.e. cost of production) and petrol subsidy payments. However, only N1.516 trillion has been remitted to the Federal Government coffers by the NNPC showing a shortfall of N320.654 billion for the period”, the lawmaker noted.

“Again, it should be noted that this is actual revenue generated at the prevailing market rate of crude oil and gas. The budget for the Fiscal year 2013 was based on $79 per barrel, whereas the price had hardly fallen below $100 per barrel for the whole year. This implies that even though we are receiving way above the benchmark on our crude oil and gas sales, we are not meeting our targets because our crude oil production has fallen way below budgeted estimates as a result of massive crude oil theft and unabated corruption in the oil and gas sector,”Jibrin lamented

The Finance Committee chairman maintained that Nigerians are not as keen on crude oil sales figures as the actual remittances from in NNPC to the federation account, adding that the amount remitted was more important and NNPC should have been more honest to present the figures so that Nigerians could understand what actually accrued to the Federal Government.

His words: “For January to September 2013, the federation was expected to earn N1.837 trillion (or N204.168 billion per month) from the sale of crude oil and gas marketed by the NNPC with the Petroleum Minister as its board chairperson”.

The lawmaker insisted that figures available to the House Committee on Finance showed that revenue targets were only barely met in the months of April (N212.029 billion) and May (N210.202 billion). While in July, targets were not met (N191.549 billion), N35.103 billion was transferred to the excess crude account

According to him, “the Ministry of Petroleum/NNPC has to be held accountable for this shortfall. The MTEF deliberations and revenue framework for the fiscal 2014 year will have to look extensively into this worrying situation. If this trend is allowed to continue, it will have devastating consequences on our economy which is still dependent to the tune of over 80% on the petroleum industry”.

“At last, it is gratifying to note that after a barrage of well-deserved criticisms from well-meaning observers of the oil and gas industry, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is finally making effort to come clean with the recent release of figures of crude oil sales allegedly totalling $20.9bn for the first seven months of 2013, Jibrin said.

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