By Udora Orizu
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, yesterday justified not remitting the entire funds the agency generates to the Federation Account, saying that the corporation is backed by law to make deductions of their running costs from source.
Kyari gave the justification when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts.
The NNPC GMD appeared before the committee to answer questions on their financial operations, following the query from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation over dwindling government revenue from 2014 till 2020.
The NNPC was queried on the deduction of the sum of N865 billion from N2.4 trillion it agency generated in 2015, which the Auditor General, said was in violation of Section 162 of the constitution.
The agency was also queried on the non-remittance of N3.8 trillion of domestic crude oil sales; the non-collection of gas receipts for some months in the year; and the issue of refund of N450 billion among others.
Addressing the lawmakers, Kyari made reference to the NNPC Act and a judgment of the Supreme Court as where they drew their authority from.
He also claimed that the corporation has the approval of the Attorney General of the Federation.
He said, ‘’What we do is backed by the provisions of the law. First the NNPC Act is very clear that we should submit revenues net of our cost. There is also an informed decision of the Supreme Court and also the Attorney General of the Federation, that that position is correct and supported by the provisions of the law.’’
Responding, the Committee Chairman, Hon. Wole Oke, said the NNPC is an agency owned by Nigerians which operates at profit, adding that should not spend what it generates.
He said it was understandable that some of the operations may be emergency in nature, adding however that the country is not a Banana Republic.