The House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, began an inquest into alleged illegal withdrawals from the Dividends Account of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
A motion to that effect was sponsored by minority leader, Rep. Ndudi ELumelu(PDP-Delta).
The Nigeria liquefied natural gas, NLNG, was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989 with the aim of producing liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export purposes and it’s production kickstarted in 1999 and is jointly owned by the Government of Nigeria ably represented by the NNPC with a shareholding of 49%, shell gas B.V 25.6%, Total LNG Nigeria LTD 15% and ENI international 10.4%.
The dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the consolidated revenue funds account of the federal government and to be shared among the three tiers of government.
Elumelu in presenting his Motion, however, expressed worries that “the NNPC who represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG had unilaterally without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the national assembly illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of 1.05 billion dollars, thereby violating the nations appropriation law”.
He said, while presenting his Motion, that he was “disturbed that there was no transparency in this extra-budgetary spending as only the group managing director and the corporation’s chief financial officer had the knowledge of how the 1.05 billion dollars was spent”.
He expressed concerns ” that there are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the office of the auditor general of the federation, hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account”.
The House, with Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila presiding, adopted his Motion, without debate, mandating its committee on public accounts, to invite the management of the NNPC, as well as that of the NLNG to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that have taken place on the dividends account and report back to the house in four weeks”.