The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has insisted that, the $12 billion withdrawn from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) account was legal.
This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director (GMD) NNPC, Mele Kyari when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Thursday.
Kyari who was represented by the NNPC Chief Financial Officer, Umar Ajiya, said NNPC pulled out the sum from the dividends account, authorised by the Federal Government, represented by the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NNPC.
According to him, the proceeds from the Dividends Account, were Federal Government’s share of revenues from oil shared among the Federal, states and other tiers of government.
“All withdrawals(from NLNG dividends fund), were based on approved mandates of the relevant authorities. As far as NNPC is concerned, investments in NLNG, were done on behalf of the Federal government. I was the treasurer of NLNG, so I was aware of the Federal government’s investment in the project.
“The same matter came at the FEC(Federal Executive Council), and was referred to a Committee, headed by the Governor of Kaduna State, but the fact is that, the Federal Government, through the NNPC, is the true owner of the investment(the sum withdrawn). It is accrued to the Federal government, not the Federation Account,”he said.
After the submissions, the Committee chairman, Wole Oke and members resolved to summon the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmad, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, to clarify claims by the NNPC on the utilization of the NLNG fund.
It could be recalled that, the issue of the NLNG funds withdrawal by the NNPC has been a subject of investigation by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts.