Saturday, September 26, 2015

Missing NNPC $20 billion : Kachikwu recalls external auditors

IN line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s change and anti-graft agenda, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has decided to revisit the issue of the missing $20 billion NNPC fund.

‘’We are bringing back the auditors to do a full audit of NNPC accounts. The last audit was done in 2010, so we will make the accounts up to date,” he said during an interaction with journalists in Lagos,yesterday. The nation was mired in controversies recently following public bashing and accusations of unaccounted funds, in excess of $20 billion as alleged by former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

Recall that NEITI, the PRSTF and KPMG all questioned how Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, the producing arm of the NNPC split earnings with its partners, and how much revenues they keep back for themselves. Besides, most of the companies are incorporated in offshore banking secrecy jurisdictions; none of them publish annual accounts.

Furthermore, it has been noted that NNPC has not fully responded to Sanusi’s allegations in public, and the terms of reference, TOR, for the recent PricewaterHouseCoopers, PwC audit did not empower the auditors to probe the strategic alliance agreements, SAAs, the NPDC entered into with its partners between 2010 and 2012, in detail.

Promising to subject the NNPC accounts to another forensic audit,.Kachikwu said part of the ongoing reform of the NNPC is the right of the public to know. “There are no go areas” for as long as the Corporation remains a public establishment. I give weekly briefing to Mr. President because the Nigerian public has a right to know,” he said, adding that the first monthly publication of the Corporation since he took over will be out next week, and ‘’a whole lot of things will be revealed in it.’’

The development comes as Kachikwu threatened that the Federal Government may shut down unprofitable refineries after the 90 days deadline given to their managements and sell off its majority stakes to expatriate management investors, similar to the Nigerian LNG model.

He also disclosed that the lucrative multi-million dollar pipeline vandalism and attendant crude oil and products theft business may come to end soon as the Nigerian Army begins the deployment of drones to monitor the over 5000 kilometres pipeline network that criss-cross the country.

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