“Totally unfounded and absurd” – NNPC attacks the subsidy probe report

by Lekan Olanrewaju

The report from the just concluded fuel subsidy probe was released a few days ago. It indicted several agencies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, NNPC, for the mismanagement of N1.7 trillion.

The NNPC has now responded, denying the allegations, and demanding evidence to back up the claims by the Farouk Lawan-led House of Representatives ad hoc committee.

The group general manager group public affairs division of the corporation, Dr Levi Ajuonuma on Sunday released a press statement addressing the claims.

“Contrary to the allegation contained in the probe report which accused NNPC of withdrawing from two different sources simultaneously to recover it subsidy claims, the corporation at no time made such double withdrawals” the statement read.

“Such a claim is totally unfounded and absurd. They must show authorisation for the payments as well as breakdown of the amount, purpose for the payments, beneficiary accounts in which such payments were made and the utilisation of such payments.

For the purposes of clarity subsidy payments to NNPC is not based on cash remittance. The mechanics of subsidy recovery by NNPC is not fund based but by way of deduction form crude cost due.” it continued.

“As a matter of fact from the commencement of the subsidy regime there was never a time when CBN paid any money to NNPC in respect of subsidy claim.”

“For instance, NNPC presented to PPPPRA approvals for 2011 totalling N981 billion out of which only N844.9 billion has been credited to NNPC. But surprisingly the committee claimed that PPPRA approved only N504 billion and that the balance was excess payment to NNPC. What logic?”.

“The basis for the deduction of both cash calls for joint venture operations and NNPC’s subsidy payments as a first line charge on the income of the federal government is statutory and founded on the appropriation act which was passed by the national assembly. Under the said appropriation act, certain budgetary items including subsidy payments to the NNPC are listed as first line charges on the income of the federation,’’ he explained

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