Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd)

Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Government wednesday maintained that the recent stalemate during the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting was due to the inability of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to answer some basic questions concerning the disbursement of funds.

At the state monthly transparency briefing which took place at the Government House in Yenagoa, the Deputy Governor of the state, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd), said it was still a wonder how all the variables are looking favourable while the monthly allocation continues to dip.

The government said while the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) insists that the total daily consumption of petroleum product is 36 million litres, the NNPC maintains that the figure is 60 million litres, but that the corporation continues to pay subsidy on non-existent figures.

“The NNPC is a very clever organisation. They have experts for presentation. When they finish their presentations, you will sympathise with them. When they finished their presentation once, a former governor nearly cried. Those are the kind of things they have actually perfected.

“When this government came in with this issue of NNPC, we thought they could do something about it, but it seems to be difficult to get out of,” he said.

The government also decried the heavy differences between the figures released by the DPR and the NNPC on fuel consumption, stressing that even if Nigeria was supplying fuel to neighbouring countries, more than 10 million litres of the product would still remain unaccounted for every day.

Jonah added: “It is not so much about the shortfall that certain practices are not normal.
Recall that the quantity of crude oil export is increasing, the price is increasing, while the naira has been devalued by a hundred percent.

“Even if the quantity is not increasing, the thinking of the governors’ forum is that as long as we have devalued, we should have more naira which will compensate for the loss of quantity of crude oil exported. The oil output has increased because nobody is disturbing the pipelines now, so why will the money be reducing?

“Nobody has been able to give us a coherent answer. Why should the money be reducing when all the variables are favourable and increasing? Still no answer.”