House Investigates Alleged Illegal Withdrawal of $1.05bn from NLNG Account by NNPC

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Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The House of Representatives has commenced investigation into the alleged illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from the account of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividends account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The House directed the investigation following the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance moved by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu at the plenary yesterday.

The House therefore mandated, “its committee on public accounts to invite the managements of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that has taken place on the dividends account and report back to the house in four weeks.”

Moving the motion, Elumelu said NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989 with the aim of producing liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export purposes and its production kickstarted in 1999.

He stressed that NLNG is jointly owned by the federal government with a shareholding of 49 per cent, shell gas B.V 25.6 per cent, Total LNG Nigeria LTD 15% and ENI international 10.4per cent.

The minority leader noted that the dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the consolidated revenue funds account of the federal government and to be shared amongst the three tiers of government.

Elumelu expressed worry that “the NNPC which represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG had unilaterally without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of $1.05 billion, thereby violating the nations appropriation law.”

“Disturbed that there was no transparency in this extra budgetary spending as only the Group Managing Director and the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer had the knowledge of how the $1.05 billion was spent.”

The lawmaker also expressed concern that there are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, hence, the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account.