The beleaguered Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other government agencies in the petroleum sector may be fresh trouble, as the Auditor General of the Federation has queried the diversion of N2.30 trillion from the Federal Government’s coffers.
The amount, classified as Excess Crude Oil/PPT/Royalty, is part of the nation’s total oil and gas revenue for 2012.
The Auditor-General raised the query in the just-concluded 2012 audit report submitted to the House Committee on Public Accounts.
According to the breakdown of the illegal deduction, the sum of N477.44 billion was in favor of NNPC; N377.26 billion in favour of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) while the sum of N1.45 trillion was in favour of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The report noted that the deduction was in contravention of section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution, which stipulates that “the federation shall maintain a special account to be called ‘The Federation Account’ into which shall be paid, all revenues collected by the government of the federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or Department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the FCT.”
In this latest report, the Auditor-General, said:“Efforts by the audit team to obtain legal authority for the creation of the Excess Crude Oil/PPT/Royalty Account, proved abortive.
“The total sum of $219.24 million and $443.84 million were credited to the FGN Excess Proceeds Crude oil sales account and PPT/Royalty Account respectively, as interest on fixed term deposits. Also, the sums totalling $0.221 million and $0.453 million were credited to the FGN Excess Proceeds of crude oil sales account and PPT/Royalty Account respectively, as interest on ordinary deposits.”
To this end, the Accountant-General queried the legality of the deductions and noted that “the authority for placing the funds which yielded the above interests in deposit account was not made available as requested.
Page 74 of the report also indicted the NNPC over unremitted revenue from domestic crude oil sales worth N936.02 billion, for which the NNPC Group Managing Director has been queried by the Accountant General of the Federation.