Barely a week after the dispute between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the Auditor General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura, over alleged unremitted N3.235 trillion oil revenue to the Federation Account in 2014, the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, on Monday confirmed that total unremitted revenue could be as high as N4.9 trillion.
The Commission said through its spokesperson, Ibrahim Mohammed, that the N3.235 trillion reported by the Auditor General of the Federarion as unremited revenue by NNPC was from the 2014 Annual Audit Report obtained from the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC Technical Sub-Committee records on domestic crude oil sales and reconciliation statement in the NNPC’s mandate to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Mr. Mohammed said, however, that available records at the Commission’s disposal revealed that between January 2011 and December 2015, NNPC’s total indebtedness to the Federation Account stood at about N4.9 trillion.
This figure, the Commission said, included NNPC’s claims for subsidy on petroleum products, crude oil and product losses, strategic reserves and the pipeline maintenance costs.
Following the report by the AuGF to the National Assembly last week, the NNPC rejected the figure credited to it as unremitted revenues to the Federation Account as at December 31, 2014.
Group Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer (Finance & Accounts), Isiaka Abdulrazaq, who described the AuGF’s claims as erroneous, said NNPC’s total debt to the Federation Account as at January 2015 FAAC meeting report could not be more than N326.14 billion.
Mr. Abdulrazaq said with NNPC’s outstanding claims of N1.38 trillion still pending against the Federation Account as at 2009, the figure could go lower at the end of the ongoing reconciliation by forensic auditors appointed by the former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
But RMAFC said in addition to the N3.235 trillion the AuGF said the NNPC was owing the Federation Account in 2014 from domestic crude sale, the Commission’s records further revealed another debt of N1.99 trillion for the same year for the same purpose.
On the alleged payment into an undisclosed Escrow Accounts of $235 million from natural gas sale by NNPC, the Commission explained that the national oil company, on behalf of the Nigeria LNG, entered a modified carry agreement, MCA with three international oil companies, IOCs, namely Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC; Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, and Total E&P Nigeria Limited,TEPNG under which proceeds of sale would be deposited in Escrow Accounts for funding of various gas projects under the NLNG.
The Commission revealed that between 2012 and November 2015, $1.615 billion was transferred to the various accounts.
The commission said it has consistently requested the NNPC to provide it with updated financial statements on the projects without any positive response.
Since last year, the Commission had been working with the NNPC to reconcile the figures of its indebtedness to the Federation Account following a tripartite meeting it held along with the Federal Ministry of Finance on the issue.
During the committee’s meeting in December 2015, members agreed that in view of the subsidy and other claims by the NNPC, the forensic audit of the NNPC was critical to establish who was actually indebted to the other.
The forensic audit is expected to be concluded by the end of March 2016.