From November 2014, about $2.1billion was withdrawn from Nigeria’s excess crude account without the approval of the National Economic Council, NEC. This was revealed by the National Economic Council (NEC) inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari today at the State House, Abuja.
Other atrocities committed under the watch of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration include the following:
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, generated about N8.1trillion between 2012 and May 2015, but paid only N4.3trillion to the federation account.
The balance of the oil money — about N3.8trillion — was withheld and spent by the NNPC unilaterally without approval or National Assembly appropriation.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday vowed to compel all income generating agencies including the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and NNPC to comply with stipulated Financial Regulations and Administrative Instructions regarding remittances into the Federation coffers.
The President gave the assurance on Monday while inaugurating the National Economic Council (NEC) at the State House, Abuja.
The Council comprises of the 36 state Governors and CBN Governor and is statutorily chaired by the Vice President in line with the provision of Third Schedule, Part I, Section 153: Sub section (18 & 19) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The Council on Monday set a four-man Committee to investigate the state oil company, NNPC over the missing N3.8trillion.
Mr. Oshiomhole, who, alongside the governors of Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and Zamfara governor, Abdulazeez Yari, told journalists that following the discovery, the NEC has set up a four-member committee to comb the books of the NNPC to confirm its remittances and how the excess crude account was utilised.
Mr. Oshiomhole said Monday’s meeting was the first time the NNPC and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, briefed the National Economic Council, as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor said Mr. Buhari “compelled” the NNPC to provide information in “black and white” on issues relating to the total sales of Nigeria’s crude oil from 2012 to May 2015.
“What we saw from those numbers I believe that Nigerians are entitled to know, is that whereas the NNPC claimed to have earned N8.1 trillion, what NNPC paid into the federation account from 2012 to May 2015 was N4.3trillion”, the governor said.
“What it means is that NNPC withheld and spent N3.8 trillion.
“The major revelation here is that for the entire federation — that is the federal government, the states and all the 774 local governments — the amount the NNPC paid into the federation account for distribution to this three tiers of government came to N4.3 trillion and NNPC alone took and spent N3.8 trillion. Which means the cost of running NNPC is much more than the cost of running the Federal Government. That tells you how much is missing, what is mismanaged, what is stolen, they are huge figures.”
Meanwhile the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against politicising anti Corruption agencies in his plans to nip in the bud, the current menace, just as the party vowed that there was no way it could be blackmailed through propaganda.
In a statement Monday by PDP National Publicity Secretary, the PDP stressed that no amount of intimidation, blackmail and propaganda by the Presidency would stop it from standing shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians in demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari kick-starts government and commence implementation of his campaign promises for which he was voted into office.
According to Metuh, there was no way the party could be cowed by what he termed, threats and wild allegations by the Presidency into abdicating its responsibility of speaking out as an opposition party where the system was derailing.
Metuh said, “While we expect the present administration to be serious about the fight against corruption, probe and persecute each and everyone involved in such, irrespective of their party leaning, we restate that these must be done within the ambits of the law and must not be used as a witch-hunt ostensibly to discredit and undermine the opposition. We therefore caution against the current drama of politicizing the issue of corruption in the country.
“Presidency’s excuse of clearing the so-called Augean Stable is lame and diversionary noting that it stands by its statement that the delay is creating loopholes through which some persons claiming closeness to the President have infiltrated executive bodies, arm-twisting and conniving with unscrupulous elements in the bureaucracy to syphon the nation’s resources in the last 30 days.
“The PDP and indeed all well-meaning Nigerians were appalled by the response from the Presidency regarding our call for prayers to enable President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration locate its bearing, compose a government and halt the prevailing stagnation with its huge negative impact on the system.
“Instead of addressing the issues raised, the Presidency descended to insults, abuses and innuendos, a stance which not only bears out the case made by the PDP but also raises questions about the capacity of this administration to shoulder the enormous responsibility of governance.
“While we expect the present administration to be serious about the fight against corruption, probe and persecute each and everyone involved in such, irrespective of their party leaning, we restate that these must be done within the ambits of the law and must not be used as a witch-hunt ostensibly to discredit and undermine the opposition. We therefore caution against the current drama of politicizing the issue of corruption in the country.
“Furthermore, the analogy of the Augean stable, is completely baffling to us at this level as it goes to a great length to question the capacity and the sincerity of those around the president.
“In Greek mythology, Hercules in his ingenuity took the task and efficiently cleared the Augean’ stable in a day for which he demanded a reward of a tenth of fine cattle belonging to the king.
“Nigerians would not want to believe that in the so-called clearing of the Augean stable, although not delivering in one day, President Buhari wants to play Hercules in his demand, this time, by wanting to run the government alone without the statutory components of the executive as enshrined in the constitution.
“We ask, is the so-called clearing of mess responsible for his inability after 90 days of winning an election to make up his mind on rudimentary appointments such as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff and his demand for 15 Special Advisers as approved by the PDP controlled Seventh Assembly since June 5, 2015?
“Perhaps we need to draw President Buhari’s attention to the fact that while he is busy clearing his imaginary mess on the pages of newspapers, some persons claiming closeness to him have in the last 30 days been piling up sleazes that also need his attention in key agencies of government.
“Despite the absence of approving and supervising officials, key income generating institutions like NNPC, NIMASA, NPA, FIRS and other strategic agencies have been invaded by persons claiming to be friends and associates of the President and this puts to question the sincerity and seriousness of the administration to affect the so-called change upon which they rode to power.
“Auxiliary to this is the issue of the construction of a helipad, amongst various expenses and other major government expenditure going on across board in the last one month and without due supervision as the eyes of the President cannot be everywhere.
“We declare unequivocally that we do have respect for the person and office of the President especially considering his age and status as an elder statesman. However, we will like to make it very clear that the President of the Federal Republic Nigeria is neither a Sherriff in the Old Wild West nor a military dictator in some Banana Republic. He is an elected president under a democratic setting.”