47 oil firms, NNPC owe government N6.339 trillion

No fewer than 47 Oil companies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) are owing the Federal Government about $8.265 billion (about N6.339 trillion), the National Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NETI) has said.
At the exchange rate of N767 to a dollar published by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the $8.265 billion equals N6.339 trillion.
NEITI, in its latest audit report (2021) unveiled yesterday revealed that the 47 oil companies are owing a total of $1.342 billion while the NNPC alone is owing N$6.923 billion within the period.
Officially unveiling the report, the Executive Secretary, NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said the amount are collectible revenues due to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) arising from NNPC and Companies in their 2021 operation.
He said, “our concern is that government is looking for money and therefore borrowing money. This report has showed us that we should look inward and collect what is due to us”.
The NNPC had earlier February this year faulted audit report of NEITI, saying the report is inaccurate, misleading and will misinform the public about the true situation of things.
Then, NEITI had accused the NNPC of owing N1.3 trillion.
According to a statement by the NNPC earlier this year, the report contains fundamental inaccuracies which are misleading and constitutes misinformation to the generality of the public. “Given that the NEITI audit report is expected to be factual in all respects, it has become necessary to make the following observations and clarifications,” it said.
The NNPC also admitted that the draft report was made available to it on January 17, 2013, and that it was in the process of reviewing it for the purposes of reconciliation, when NEITI made the report public.
The NNPC maintained that standard audit procedure required close-out between the auditor and the auditee before it is finalised and put in the public domain.
In response to the allegations leveled against it, the NNPC clarified, it did not owe the Federation N1.3trillion. “For the avoidance of doubt, the statement credited to NEITI is not correct and is misleading. The following is a detailed account of the N1.3 trillion:
“NNPC has 90 days moratorium for the payment of domestic crude. This implies that at every year end, the Corporation will have outstanding three months balances not yet due for payment. However, the debt portion of the N928 billion had been paid in the first quarter of 2012 on the relevant due dates. This can be verified with the relevant authorities. One would have expected NEITI to take cognizance of this process in the report to avoid misrepresenting NNPC’s debt profile.
“NEITI’s report ought to have identified the anomaly and vindicated NNPC of the N377bn imposed debt repayment.
“The report questions both the process and NNPC’s right to reimbursement under the subsidy scheme. This was amplified by the Media as “Illegal”, “cornered”, “took” etc, giving the impression that there is no due process and transparency in the payment of subsidies due to the NNPC.
“All our subsidy claims are duly verified, approved and authorized for payment by relevant agencies. However subsidy claims due to NNPC are not “cash payments” as amounts duly approved are backed out from the Gross Domestic Oil revenue due to the Federation Account in any given month. This is the extant process for this transaction.

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