SERAP gives NNPCL seven days to account for ‘missing oil revenues’

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SERAP

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, to “promptly account for and explain the whereabouts of the alleged missing $2.04 billion and N164 billion oil revenues.”

SERAP in a statement by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare dated February 17, said the allegations are documented in the latest annual report recently published by the Auditor-General of the Federation.

The group urged Kyari “to name and shame those responsible for the disappeared oil money, surcharge them for the full amount involved, and hand them over to appropriate anti corruption agencies, as provided for under paragraph 3112(ii) of the Financial Regulations 2009, and recommended by the Auditor-General.”

SERAP also urged the NNPCL boss “to ensure the full recovery and remittance of the missing $2.04 billion and N164 billion into the Federation Account without further delay. The missing oil revenues have further damaged the already precarious economy in the country and contributed to very high levels of deficit spending by the government.”

The group said without the full recovery and remittance of the missing $2.04 billion and N164 billion oil revenues, the dire economic situation may worsen and Nigerians will continue to be denied access to basic public goods and services.

According to SERAP, “the Auditor-General has for many years documented reports of disappearance of public funds from the NNPC. Nigerians continue to bear the brunt of these missing oil revenues.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel the NNPCL to comply with our requests in the public interest.

“Had the NNPCL and its subsidiaries accounted for and remitted the disappeared public funds into the Federation Account, it is likely that more funds would have been allocated to the fulfillment of economic and social rights, such as increased spending on public goods and services.

“The missing oil revenues have also impeded Nigerians’ ability to enjoy their economic and social rights, and denied them access to essential public goods and services, especially at the time of cost of living crisis in the country.

“Explaining the whereabouts of the missing public funds, naming and shaming those suspected to be responsible and ensuring that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice and the full recovery of any missing public funds would serve the public interest and end the impunity of perpetrators.”

“Nigerians have the right to know the whereabouts of the disappeared oil money.

Ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of oil revenues would advance the right of Nigerians to restitution, compensation and guarantee of non-repetition.”

“According to the recently published 2020 audited report by the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) failed to remit over $2 billion and N164 billion oil revenues into the Federation Account.”

“The Auditor-General fears that the money may have been diverted into private pockets, denying the government the funding needed to carry out its activities.”

“The NNPCL reportedly failed and/or refused to remit N151, 121,999,966. The NNPCL without any justification deducted the money from the oil royalties assessed for 2020 by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) now Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).”

“The NNPCL has failed to account for the missing public funds. The Auditor-General wants the money recovered and remitted into the Federation Account.”