TENSION!!! President Buhari’s Integrity Status Under Serious Threat, State Workers Salaries To Suffer Massive Delay, As Minister Of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, Releases Damning Report

By Joshua Amaugo June 29, 2018 19:09

TENSION!!! President Buhari’s Integrity Status Under Serious Threat, State Workers Salaries To Suffer Massive Delay, As Minister Of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, Releases Damning Report

President Muhammadu Buhari’s world acclaimed integrity status, has come under serious scrutiny, sequel to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun’s recent report on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Recall, that on Thursday, June 28, Adeosun had accused the NNPC, headed by President Buhari, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, of secretly withholding funds, as their account statement was shredded in secrecy.

She said the NNPC is operating as a business, hence the government needed to act once its expectations from the firm were not met.

Briefing the President, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, and State Governors, on the monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, that ended in a deadlock, on Wednesday, Adeosun said: “In my capacity as the Chairman of FAAC, I briefed Governors on the deadlock that we have got currently in the Federation Account, and explained what happened. There was quite an extensive debate on what to do.

“For the purpose of this briefing, we operate the NNPC as a business. We have invested public capital in that business; and we have expectations of return. And when that return falls lower than our expectations, then the owners of this business, which in this case are the Federal Government and States, we need to act.

“So, that was what caused the deadlock yesterday (Wednesday), and we really felt the figures the NNPC was proposing for FAAC, were unacceptable. We felt that some of the costs could not be justified, and so we have decided that rather than approve the accounts, we will go back and do further work”, Adeosun noted.

The Minister, speaking further, said: “Further negotiations and interactions are going on with the NNPC as we speak. However, we did brief both Mr. President and Mr. Vice President, on the deadlock, and asked for their support and their forbearance in this, because the consequence of this is that salaries might well be delayed in many States, as a result of this.

“But we feel that in order to get to the accurate figures that we need, we have asked for forbearance, and the Governors and the Federal Government are all in agreement that we need to get to the bottom of those figures”, Adeosun added.

Recall, that President Buhari is yet to clear the air about grievous allegations of abuse of contract process, to the tune of N9 trillion at the NNPC, over 8 months after the incident.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, detailed the questionable deals, when he alerted the President to the activities of the Group Managing Director, GMD, of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru.

In the August 30 Correspondence, Mr. Kachikwu said Mr. Baru circumvented extant procurement regulations in awarding a series of contracts up to $25 billion or N9 trillion, at prevailing exchange rate of N360 to a dollar, warning of grave consequences the decisions could wreak, if allowed to stand.

Mr. Kachikwu giving a breakdown of the contracts, said that they were awarded without recourse to the Ministry of Petroleum, or the Management Board of the NNPC, as including $10 billion crude term contracts; $5 billion Direct Sales Direct Purchase, DSDP, contracts, and $3 billion AKK pipeline contract.

He also said that $3 billion was awarded as a contract for various financing allocation funding contracts, and another $3-4 billion NPDC production service contracts.

Also, on March 28, 2018, it was widely reported that the NNPC failed to remit a whopping sum of $16.8 billion, paid to it as dividends by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Limited and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio, who made the revelation, said: “It is a shame that Nigeria with its abundance of resources, has little or nothing to show for it in terms of development – good roads, balanced healthcare, quality education system, and all that. It is not that the resources are cursed. The problem is the reckless way those resources are utilized. NEITI as an Agency is committed to ensuring that the opacity in the operation in the oil and gas sector, becomes a thing of the past.

“For instance, the 2015 audit report of the sector, has it that N316.7 billion was paid on subsidy in 2015, as against the budgeted sum of N145 billion by the government. According to our findings, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas  Limited, made a total payment of $16,898,725,000 to NNPC, between the year 2000 to 2015. NNPC, however, confirmed receipt of this fund but there was no evidence of remittance to Federation Account.

“When our Auditors asked NNPC why it failed to remit the sum to the Federation Account, they said there was instruction from the President to warehouse the funds and spend as directed. When we requested to know the status of the fund and what has become of it, and also document from the President that gave NNPC approval to warehouse the fund, the NNPC said instruction from the Presidency authorised it to hold income from the NLNG on trust, and to administer same as directed by the government. This and other many issues of transparency, are what affects the fortune of our land”, he said.

Reacting to the huge rot in the oil sector despite the All Progressives Congress, APC, administration’s acclaimed fight against corruption, a Nigerian who referred himself as “The fact”, said: “Even when money was alleged to have been missing during Jonathan’s tenure, it was not as bad as this. Can the Petroleum Minister now tell us what is going on in his Ministry? That is if he still remembers he is the Petroleum Minister.”

Elsewhere, Chibuzor Mitchel Ezeuchegbu said: “Is this NNPC not solely owned by Nigerians? Let them open up their accounts and transactions for the nation, what are they hiding? Femi Falana demanded an open account, NNPC rejected it. Is Buhari fighting corruption? APC fooled Nigerians, and Nigerians believed them.”

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