House accuses NNPC of tampering with $1.05b NLNG dividend

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The House of Representatives yesterday accused the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of    tampering with about $1.05 billion from the dividend account of the Nigeria Liquidified Natural Gas (NLNG).

The House, therefore, mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to invite the management of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG and  probe what happened to the dividend.

The House resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon Ndudi Elunelu on the need to investigate the illegal withdrawal.

Elumelu said the NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989 to produce liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export and its production kick-started in 1999.

According to him, the NLNG is owned by the Federal Government represented by the NNPC with a shareholding of 49per cent, Shell Gas B.V. 25.6per cent, Total Nigeria Limited, 15per cent and ENI International, 10.4per cent.

Elumelu, the Minority Leader of the House, said 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.

He expressed concern that the NNPC, which represents the government on the board of the NLNG, had without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly  tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of $1.05 billion, thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.

“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 was spent,” he said.

He stressed that there were no records showing the audit and recovery of funds from the NLNG by the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, hence the need for a thorough investigation of the NLNG dividends account.

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