Senate Queries Ministry, NNPC over Non-remittance of N4.2tn

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Deji Elumoye and Udora Orizu in Abuja

The Senate Committee on Public Account has accused the Ministry of Solid Minerals of alleged non-remittance of N2 billion into the Federation Account.

This is just as the committee, chaired by Senator Mathew Uhroghide, also uncovered how the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) allegedly spent N966 billion to repair pipeline between 2010 and 2015, as contained in the report of query by the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) over alleged unremitted N4 trillion by NNPC into the Federation Account.

From records presented for audit, it was noted that the sum of N2,838,351,664.97 was collected as solid mineral revenue from January to December 2016, but this amount was not paid into the Federation Account for distribution in 2016 contrary to Section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The committee has, therefore, requested the Permanent Secretary of the ministry to explain why the ministry failed to pay the revenues collected into the Federation Account as required by the constitution.

The ministry, however, failed to respond to the query of the AuGF on the issue of non-remittance of N2 billion into the Federation Account.

The committee at its sitting last Friday resolved to summon the officials of the ministry to explain why it declined to remit into the Federation Account.

Also, the committee discovered that the NNPC allegedly spent N966 billion to repair pipeline between 2010 and 2015.

The query raised over the said spending read: “It was observed from the examination of NNPC report to Technical Sub-Committee of Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting held in December 2016 that a cumulative total of N4,076,548,336,749.75 as summarised below and detailed, remained unremitted to the Federation Account by NNPC as at December 31, 2016.

“The total revenue unremitted as at January 1, 2016, (see the table above) from amounts payable into the Federation Account by NNPC was N3,878,955,039,855.73, which was not completed. The sum of N1,198,138,355,860.30 was due in revenue to the Federation Account out of the total generated in 2016, however, NNPC paid the sum of N1,000,545,058,966.20 resulting in an amount withheld of N197,593,296,894.02.”

But, NNPC, in a written response to the committee claimed that the unremitted N4 trillion was arrived at without taking cognisance of the subsidy and pipeline repairs and management associated with domestic crude oil transaction.

According to NNPC, “Subsidy approved and certified by PPRA from 2010 to 2015 stood at the N4 trillion. Also in 2016, OMS under recovery stood at the N28.6 billion which brings the total unrecognised subsidy/PMS under recovery to N4 trillion. Aside the above, pipeline repairs and products losses incurred stood at N966 billion for the same period.”

The NNPC is expected to appear before the Senate committee this week to give clarification on the issue raised in the Auditor General’s report over non – remittance of N4 trillion into Federation Account.