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Two-mouthed? CBN Governor Sanusi Reverses Self On N7.9 Trillion Missing Oil Money

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Just a week after, the Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has withdrawn his claims that at least N7.9 trillion oil sales proceeds was diverted or stolen by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Telegraph reports.

Sanusi notified President Goodluck Jonathan of the missing money last week in a three-page letter. He lamented about his frustrations with the management of NNPC whom he accuses of paying only 24 percent of all oil sales between January 2012 and July 2013, and diverting the balance into unknown accounts.

In total, $48.9 billion, about N7.9, trillion was unaccounted for.

NNPC denied the allegations accusing the CBN governor of ignorance.

An investigative hearing ordered by the Senate held on Wednesday December 18th 2013 where Sanusi announced that a large portion of the figure had been accounted for in meetings between the CBN, the NNPC and the ministry of finance.

Telegraph reports:

He told the Senate finance committee probing the claim that only $12 billion (N1. 9 trillion) remained unaccounted for.

His new figure was reportedly rejected by the finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who also attended the hearing.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said based on their calculations, the shortfall was $10.8 billion. She said even that sum was not missing and will be traced at subsequent meetings between the three office.

Petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, attended the meeting.

Mr. Sanusi said his letter did not conclude that money was missing, but was a call on the president- which is part of his responsibilities- to call for investigation.

He said it was unfortunate the letter was leaked to the media.

“I repeat Mr Chairman that we did not see the letter as a conclusion of our investigation but an invitation to investigate. So, the conclusion that $49.8billion was missing was wrong even though we had the allegation that it was in remitted,” he said.

“Now, since then, a lot has happened. We have heard the Minister of Finance, minister of Petroleum Resources, Central Bank, FIRS, DPR, we have set up technical team and has started a process of reconciliation and there has been a lot of progress in that process.

The major progress has been the provision of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) by MPC documents to show that even though they did ship that amount in question which is a little more than $67billion, about $24billion was actually not their crude but crude shipped on behalf of third parties like oil companies, tax in crude and also for third party financing and so that already addresses half of the amount.”

He said the outstanding is with domestic crude lifting of $28billion. “There is a general consensus among us on this even though the amount has been disputed. For us in Central Bank, there is a shortfall of $12billion.”

He asked for more time to reconcile the figures with the other offices, a request the senate committee granted.

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