- Last Updated on 14 February 2013
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The Federal House of Representatives on Wednesday directed the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to recover over N6trn revenue generated by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Abdulmumin Jibrin issued the directive during an interactive session with NNPC’s management team, led by Group Managing Director Andrew Yakubu and Jonah Otunla, the AGF.
Speaking after the presentation of both parties, Jibrin vowed that the House would deploy all its constitution powers to compel NNPC to remit its internally generated revenue from 2009 to 2012 into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
According to the records presented by the corporation, the sum of N2trn was realised in 2009, N2.1trn in 2010, N1.9trn in 2011, and N259bn as at July 2012.
To this extent, the committee mandated the corporation to give unhindered access to the AGF to scrutinize the IGR records for the four years, in line with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Other lawmakers also frowned at the level of financial misappropriation in the corporation, saying it was unacceptable for the NNPC to claim that it has been operating at a loss despite being protected by the government.
“Operating at a loss is not an issue,” Jibrin said. “You generated some money and the law is clear on what belongs to you and to the others but you chose to ignore it and refused to remit of the Federal government its dues.”
Reacting to the allegations, Yakubu described the AGF's allegation as embarrassing, arguing that no agency has ever been denied access to the corporation's records, just as he pledged NNPC’s cooperation.
On the non-remittance, Yakubu explained that the corporation has been operating at a loss due to the challenging business environment and the subsidy of petroleum product.
“For instance, we have to buy crude at commercial rates but have to sell at regulated prices, as such it is difficult to generate profit and that is why we have difficulties in remitting to the consolidated revenue fund,” he said.
“Also, the cost of generating that IGR is more than the IGR itself. This is because we spend more to produce the products from where we generate the profits, as we incur additional costs while producing them.
“Also, we lose nothing less than N600m per week to vandalism, and that is also beyond our control. With this, there is no business that can generate profit in such a hostile environment.”
The committee gave NNPC until 25th February to report back, after the AGF might have checked its records for the period under review.