Nigeria: Unaccounted U.S.$49.8 Billion – Senate Rejects Recommendation On Fuel Subsidy Removal

Almost six weeks after the Senate Committee on Finance submitted its report on the allegation made by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on the non-remittance of oil revenue to the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Senate yesterday deliberated on the report with a resolution rejecting the recommendation abolishing fuel subsidy.

The report was the fallout out of the committee’s investigation into Sanusi’s allegation that NNPC had failed to remit $ 49.8 billion to the federation account over a 19-month period.

The committee, in a report on the probe of Sanusi’s allegation, which was contained in a letter he wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan in September last year, had submitted that neither $ 49.8 billion nor $ 20 billion was missing as alleged by Sanusi who is now the Emir of Kano.

According to the report, which was submitted on May 28 by the committee chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the committee said it could not reconcile how the former CBN governor came about the non-remittance of $ 49.8 billion to the Federation Account.

Specifically, the committee said it found that the CBN, NNPC, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Petroleum Resources had reconciled $ 47 billion of the unaccounted revenue from the outset, adding that the sum had been remitted to the Federation Account. Sanusi, while appearing before the committee on December 18, 2013, had withdrawn the earlier allegation of the unaccounted $ 49.8 billion, saying NNPC only failed to remit $ 12 billion. He later revised the figure to $ 10.8 billion, before revising the amount for the third time to $ 20 billion.

“The CBN governor at the first hearing had put forward the figure of US$ 12 billion as monies to be reconciled but changed his position to US$ 20 billion at subsequent hearing.

“At the conclusion of his written submission, he posited that it could be US$ 20 billion, US$ 10.8 billion or anything in between,” the report said.

However, the committee asked NNPC to remit the sum of $ 218.0 million considered as the Federation Account’s share of third party financing as well as $ 447.8 million, which it described as the Federation Account’s share from the $ 6.815 billion liftings by NNPC on behalf of its subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

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