The National Assembly Budget and Research Office has stated that the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, has refused to remit N1.65trn to the Federal Government.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 requires revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government to remit 80 per cent of their operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the government.
NABRO, in its 2013 report on the performance of federal agencies in respect of their remittances to the Federal Government, indicated that NAPIMS had a surplus of N2.07trn within the years under consideration.
It stated, “NAPIMS, a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, earned N9.58trn (excluding proceeds from crude oil and gas) between 2009 and 2011 and accumulated a surplus of N2.07trn.
“Hence, the NNPC ought to have remitted the sum of N1.65trn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.
“However, the sums of N338.26bn N572.22bn and N746.17bn (due to the government) were retained and stated as having been transferred to revenue reserve in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.”
According to NABRO, between 2007(when the Fiscal Responsibility Act was enacted) and 2011, the NNPC ought to have remitted N3.02trn to the federal treasury in respect of the operations of NAPIMS.
This excluded the crude oil sales that were expected to have been paid into the Federation Account.
It said, “Although NAPIMS recorded significant surpluses during the period, the NNPC claimed that as a ‘group,’ it has been recording deficits over the years.
“The Group Managing Director attributed these losses to the harsh operating environment. The corporation has yet to provide the group’s audited accounts for any of the three years. The question remains whether or not the NNPC has ever made profit since it was established.”
NABRO also named Nigerian Ports Authority, West African Examinations Council and the National Pension Commission as agencies also towing the line of the NNPC.
It said that the NPA was expected to remit N51.59bn to the Federal Government between 2009 and 2012, but only remitted N24.66bn, leaving an outstanding sum of N27.92bn.
“Thus, the authority neither complied with the FRA 2007 nor the 2011 Federal Ministry of Finance directive to remit 25 per cent of its gross collection to the treasury,” NABRO said.
On WAEC, it noted that the agency did not remit any amount between 2009 and 2012.
It noted that the N1.93bn that the council should have paid into the CRF of the Federal Government during the period was kept for future use.
“In effect, the council had neither regard for the provisions of the FRA 2007 on remittances nor the directive of the Federal Ministry of Finance to remit 25 per cent of its gross Internally Generated Revenue to the CRF of the Federal Government,” it said.
The National Pension Commission, according to NABRO, transferred all its surpluses between 2009 and 2011 to its general reserve fund, “except for the N3.11m it transferred on December 6, 2012, which was ostensibly done in response to the directive from the Federal Ministry of Finance.”
Reacting to the development, the General Manager, Media Relations Department, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Dr. Omar Ibrahim, said the corporation was investigating the claims and would make public its findings.
According to him, the recently released audit report of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative for the oil and gas sector from 2009 to 2011, also requested the corporation to remit the same amount to the federation account.
Ibrahim said, “It will be recalled that this is the same issue raised by NEITI. And the GMD of NNPC at the presentation of the NEITI audit report, said that the corporation was going to look into the claims made in that report.
“I believe that as soon as we have our facts together we will act appropriately. The key thing to note is that the figures presented by the National Assembly and NEITI are the same figures because if they are different, then NNPC is going to be paying about N4trn.
“The NNPC boss had stated at the presentation of the audit report by NEITI that he was attending the event for the very first time in the history of NNPC GMDs. This is because no GMD of NNPC has ever gone to the presentation of any NEITI report.”
The spokesperson observed that the corporation’s boss, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, had decided to make open the dealings of the NNPC.
Ibrahim said, “Yakubu stated that the corporation has got to open up and stressed that things have got to change. If they say this is what we are to remit, fine! The records are there from 2009 to 2011 and Yakubu was not here as the GMD during those periods, but he has given the assurance that he will investigate and will get back to you.
“So, to me, this shows a great commitment to transparency. The GMD has said that the corporation will go back into the records to find out if it is true and if it is, we will see how these things happened. But if it is not, we will tell them it is not.”
NEITI had stated that the corporation and two other firms had yet to remit N3.715bn being over-recovery to the federation account for the period under review.
The audit report also showed revenue loss by the Federal Government of over $1.7bn following the non-renewal of MoUs between the Joint Venture companies and NNPC, which made the JVs to transact business with MoUs that had expired since 2008.
Meanwhile, the contrast here is that the National Assembly’s report stated that the unremitted N1.656trn was the internally generated revenue of the NNPC, which it was supposed to forward to the federation account.
The NNPC, however, said it would cross-check the figures and make public its investigations.
Information from Punch was used in this report.