News & Views

NIGERIA TO RELEASE FORENSIC REPORT ON MISSING $20 BILLION OIL REVENUE NEXT WEEK

Lagos (Platts)–3Feb2015/739 am EST/1239 GMT

The Nigerian government will release next week the forensic report on the missing $20 billion oil money — part of the proceeds from crude sales between January 2012 and July 2013 — an official statement Tuesday said.

The report was handed over to President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday.

Leading audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, in conjunction with the Auditor General of the Federation, was handed the task of investigating claims that the state oil firm, Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., had failed to remit $20 billion of the $67 billion it earned from crude sales during the period into the federation account.

“The Auditor General will look at it [the report] and within the week, let us have key highlights,” the statement quoted President Jonathan as saying after he received the report from the Nigeria Country Senior Partner of PriceWaterHouse, Uyi Akpata.

President Jonathan’s administration has come under criticism for trying to cover up corruption allegations against NNPC since the former governor of Nigeria’s central bank first revealed in February 2014 that the corporation failed to remit $20 billion oil export revenue into the federation account.

The auditors started work last year August and were expected to complete their report within 16 weeks, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had said at the time.

But the failure to make the audit report public has become a major campaign issue for opposition parties ahead of Nigeria’s presidential election on February 14.

NNPC manages the Nigerian government’s interests in joint venture with foreign oil firms and also manages the four state-owned refineries.

NNPC has repeatedly denied allegations that it had failed to remit the oil export money, saying the money was used to offset costs of fuel subsidies, repairing vandalized pipelines and the potential revenue lost to oil theft.

Oil accounts for more than 80% of Nigeria’s revenue, with the country producing around 2 million b/d of crude.

–Staff, newsdesk@platts.com
–Edited by Haripriya Banerjee, haripriya.banerjee@platts.com

 

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