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N8 Trillion Oil Fund: You lack understanding, NNPC Replies CBN Governor

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Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday denied reports credited to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that it withheld $49.8bn (equivalent N8 trillion) representing 76% of the total crude oil revenues from January 2012 to July 2013.

NNPC spokesman Omar Farouk Ibrahim said in a statement that the allegation is borne out of misunderstanding of the workings of the oil and gas industry and the modality for remitting crude oil sales revenue into the Federation Account.

Sanusi was reported to have written a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan in September in which he accused NNPC of withholding receipts of crude oil sales.

But Ibrahim yesterday said 618.55m barrels, rather than the 594.024 million barrels of crude oil given by the CBN, was the total crude oil lifting for the period of January 2012 to July 2013.

He explained that revenue from crude oil liftings are in various categories, namely Equity Crude; Petroleum Profit Tax, Royalty, Third Party Financing and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC adding that revenues from each of these categories are statutorily collected by different agencies of the government.

Ibrahim said the NNPC collects only one of the aforementioned categories, namely Equity Crude. “Petroleum Profit Tax is collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS; Royalty goes to the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Third Party financing goes for Research, Development, Program and Satellite fields Development, while NPDC goes to NPDC for upstream development”, he added.

He said the 24 percent of total crude oil revenue receipts which the CBN governor is reported to have acknowledged that NNPC remitted represents the proceeds from the equity lifting which NNPC is directly responsible for. The alleged unremitted 76 percent was paid to the agencies that are statutorily empowered to receive them for onward remittance into the Federation Account.

Sanusi, in letter to President Jonathan dated September 25, 2013, accused the NNPC of failing to repatriate $49.8 billion of proceeds of crude oil shipments it made between January 2012 and July 2013.

He detailed how 594,024,107 barrels of crude valued at $65,332,350,514.57 lifted between January 2012 and July 2014 only $15,528,410,098.77 representing 24% of the value was remitted to the Federation Account by the NNPC.

“This means the NNPC is yet to account for, and repatriate to the Federation Account, an amount in excess of $49.804 billion or 76% of the value of oil lifted in the same period” the letter read.

The repercussions of NNPC’s failure to repatriate these amounts, he wrote, “Constitutes not only a violation of constitutional provisions but also of both the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No. 17 of 1995 and the Pre-Shipment Inspection of Exports Act No. 10 of 1996.”

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