|Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Joseph Dawha|
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday said a committee working on the alleged unremitted $11.6bn (N2.3tn) Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas dividends had not concluded its meetings.
A statement issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, explained the circumstances surrounding the reported non-remittance of the $11.6bn NLNG dividends.
Alegbe said contrary to the impression created by Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative that nothing was being done to get the money remitted, the matter had since been referred to the Inter-Ministerial Task Team for reconciliation and resolution.
He said, “At the last meeting of the IMTT, it was resolved that the Minister of Petroleum, Chairman of NEITI, Executive Secretary of NEITI and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC should meet on the issue of the NLNG dividends and report back to the IMTT.
“Unfortunately, that meeting has not held. However, another meeting of the IMTT is coming up next week and the issue will be taken up from there.
“NEITI, as a member of the IMTT, is aware of the ongoing efforts to reconcile and resolve the issue of the NLNG dividend remittance.”
NEITI had on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the recovery of over $7.5bn (N1.4tn) from oil and gas companies operating in the country as a major priority of his economic policy agenda expected to be unfolded very soon.
The agency said in a statement that the amount represented clear cases of underpayment and under-assessment of taxes, royalties and rents revealed by its independent audit reports on the industry, which had not been adequately addressed.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, also said that a total of $11.6bn, which represented outstanding total dividends arising from loans and interest repayment from the Federal Government’s investment in Liquefied Natural Gas also needed to be recovered into the government’s coffers.
She had said, “Our 2012 audit report discovered that total dividend, loans and interest repayment from the LNG paid to the NNPC in 2012 was $2.8bn; however, in the course of NEITI’s audit, the NNPC was unable to provide any evidence that the funds were remitted to the Federation Account as required by law.
“The total amount received by the NNPC from the LNG under the same circumstances, which has not been remitted to the Federation Account, stands at $11.6bn.”
Ahmed also called for full investigation into the transfer of eight oil wells sold by the NNPC to the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company in 2010 and 2011.