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 Missing’ $20bn: Reps issue fresh ultimatum to Okonjo- Iweala

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PostSubject: Missing’ $20bn: Reps issue fresh ultimatum to Okonjo- Iweala   2015-02-26, 06:12

The House of Representatives has
for the second time on Wednesday
asked the Minister of Finance, Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala, to submit the full
version of the forensic audit report
on the alleged missing Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation
$20bn to it.
The House gave the first directive
on Thursday last week, following a
motion moved by its Minority
Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila.
On Wednesday (yesterday), the
House again asked the minister for
the report after Gbajabiamila
complained that almost one week
following the first resolution,
Okonjo-Iweala had not responded.
He said, “Mr. Speaker (Emeka
Ihedioha, presiding), we request
the Clerk of the House to formally
write the Minister to produce that
report to every member of this
House.
“She has not produced the report,
irrespective of the standing
resolution of this House. We want
to have the full report, not the
snippets that they have been flying
about.”
The House endorsed his submission
and directed the minister a second
time to comply.
An auditing firm, PriceWater House
Coopers, had carried out the
forensic investigation on behalf of
the Federal Government.
The Chairman, House Committee on
Public Accounts, Mr. Solomon
Olamilekan, told reporters shortly
after the House rose that the Office
of the Auditor-General of the
Federation only presented a
“highly-condensed version” of the
report to the public.
He recalled that in the condensed
version, the NNPC was directed to
remit a “minimum of $1.4bn into
the Federation Account.”
The lawmaker said that, as the
committee overseeing public
accounts, PAC was duty-bound to
ensure that the minister produced
the report.
He ordered Okonjo-Iweala to
submit the report not later than
one week from Wednesday
(yesterday).
Olamilekan added, “The PAC,
cognisant of the provisions of the
Constitution (1999), and
empowered by the resolution,
hereby requests that the full report
on the forensic audit by PWC, which
must include the initial raft report,
the executive summary,
management /internal control
letters, should be forwarded to the
National Assembly not later than
one week from today
(Wednesday).”
Meanwhile, the Federal
Government has, in spite of the
drop in its oil revenue and
dwindling allocations to the three
tiers of government, insisted that
Nigeria is not broke.
“The country is not broke, we have
been meeting our obligations
despite the challenges we have
had with oil revenue streams but
we have been doing the best that
we can to improve our revenue
from the non-oil sector,” the
Minister of State for Finance, Bashir
Yuguda, said.
Yuguda spoke with journalists after
this month’s Federation Accounts
Allocation Committee meeting in
Abuja on Tuesday night.
The minister who, put the excess
crude account at about $2bn, also
spoke briefly on the forensic audit
report and the amount to be
refunded by the NNPC to the
federation account.
“I have engaged the minister of
petroluem and we have discussed
the time frame on the refund of
that amount,” he said.
FG, states, LGs’ allocations drop
by N188.8bn in January
The drop in crude oil prices market
has taken its toll on the federation
account as statutory allocations to
the three tiers of government
witnessed a decline of N188.8bn
from the budgeted estimates of
N688.94bn to N500.13bn in January.
The N500.13bn which is contained
in the communique issued at the
end of the FAAC meeting, also
represents a decline of N80.25bn
over the N580.38bn shared by the
federal, state and local
governments last December.
The N500.13bn, is made up of
statutory allocation of N416.09bn;
Value Added Tax, N63.94bn;
exchange gain, N8.57bn and refund
of N6.33bn made by the Nigerian
National Petroluem Corporation to
the federation account to settle its
indebtedness.
The communique attributed the
decline in gross allocation to drop
in crude prices from $77.53m in
November to $52.34m in December.
It also stated that a 33 per cent
decrease in export volume
between November and December
2014 translated into a loss of
$159.88.
The report read, “The gross
revenue of N416.09bn received for
the month was lower than the
N490.03bn received in the previous
month by N73.93bn.
“There was substantial loss of
revenue due to further drop in
crude oil prices from $77.53m in
November to $52.34m in December
2014.
“Also, a 33 per cent decrease in
export volume between November
and December 2014 translated to a
loss of $159.88m.
“The shutdown and shut-in trunks
and pipelines at various terminals
continued to impact negatively on
the revenue performance. Also,
non-oil revenues performed below
the 2014 budgetary provisions.”
From the statutory allocation, the
Federal Government received
N194.34bn, representing 52.68 per
cent while the states and local
governments got N98.57bn and
N75.99bn respectively.
Similarly, N39.45bn was shared to
the oil producing states based on
the 13 per cent derivation principle.
The Federal Government received
N9.20bn or 15 per cent from
revenue from VAT while the states
and local governments got
N30.67bn and N21.48bn
respectively.
‘Corruption, not oil crash behind
Nigeria’s woes’
The All Progressives Congress Vice-
Presidential candidate, Yemi
Osinbajo, has said that the biggest
problem facing Nigeria is
corruption and not dwindling oil
prices.
Osinbajo stated this in Uyo, Akwa
Ibom State, on Wednesday during
the presentation of APC’s 2015
manifesto on Securing Nigeria’s
Future.
He said, “Nigeria problem, as you
know, is not lack of resources. The
government of today has tried to
give the impression that the
problem of the country is that of
falling oil prices , which is now
below $50 per barrel.
“That is not true, that is not the
problem. The problem is the
corruption or the theft of
resources.”
The former Lagos State Attorney-
General and Commissioner for
Justice, added that the Federal
Government itself had confirmed
that over 400,000 barrels of oil are
stolen every day from Nigeria.
He put the value of the stolen oil at
N3.1tn a year.
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