However, the NNPC has denied claims by the Senate that it has in its custody a $3.5 billion subsidy fund managed by its top management.
Rather, the corporation said in a statement sent to THISDAY last night by its Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, that it raised and kept $1.05 billion subsidy fund with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
It explained that at the heat of the shortage of petrol supplies towards the end of 2017, the National Assembly asked it to do everything possible to stem the supply shortage and it initiated a revolving fund of $1.05billion for this purpose.
NNPC stated that since it was, and still is the sole importer and supplier of petrol in the country, it had to do this, adding that ever since then, the fund had been domiciled in the CBN and not in its custody.
According to NNPC, the fund is called the National Fuel Support Fund, and had been jointly managed by it; CBN; Federal Ministry of Finance; Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA); Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF); the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR); and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
It also said it did not independently spend a dime of the fund, noting that it was meant to ensure stability in petroleum products supply in the country.
Additionally, Ughamadu said in the statement, “For the avoidance of doubt, the corporation was fully aware that it is only the National Assembly that has the statutory responsibility to appropriate on petroleum subsidy matters.”