The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (NEITI) has disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), completed the refund of N450billion to the Federation Account by April 2017, which has been shared among states and local government councils.
It is uncertain if the N450billion is the totality of refunds being expected from the NNPC, as the industry watchdog in its Policy Brief released earlier in March, calculated the unremitted payments by the Corporation and its subsidiary, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to the Federation Account at N316.074billion and $21.778billion respectively.
NEITI said the N450billion refunded by the NNPC to the Federation Account was between September 2011 and April 2017, which it noted was for portions of domestic crude oil receipts it had withheld from November 2004.
“It is pertinent to note that a payment schedule was worked out between Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and NNPC in September 2011 following pressure from various quarters. This offers encouraging signs for the possibility of such arrangements for future repayments by the NNPC,” it added.
NEITI, which made the disclosure in its recently released quarterly review, said the sum of N243.757billion was paid to states and local governments, where states got N151.446billion and local governments N92.311billion.
NEITI explained that disbursements of these refunds started in September 2014 with N10billion, adding that disbursements in subsequent months were for N6.330billion, which continued for 31 consecutive months until April 2017.
It said a total of N243.758billion was refunded to states and local governments, while the Federal Government was refunded a total of N206.242billion.The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, had said transparency and accountability had become a way of life for the management and staff of the Corporation, noting that the era of unpublished or accumulated NNPC audit accounts had been confined to the history book.
“This explains why we publish our operations and financial reports every month so that not only your office but the general public could follow the trail. I don’t think there is any government institution that has demonstrated this level of transparency,” Baru said.