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Publish Report On Missing N20bn, Buhari Dares Jonathan

Publish Report On Missing N20bn, Buhari Dares Jonathan

The All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to make public the report of the forensic audit on the alleged missing $20 billion said to have been unremitted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

But despite the challenge and the growing suspicion over the management of the funds of the NNPC, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, yesterday, defended the accounting system of the corporation declaring that she is satisfied with the level of transparency of the records in the organization.

According to her, it took a lot of determination on her part for the NNPC to even get to this stage and to open itself up to the sort of forensic audit that was conducted as well. She noted that, “All in all, I am on one hand pleased that PriceWaterHouseCoopers, PWC, has finished the in depth audit they did. On the other hand, I am very disappointed.

She said her disappointnent stems from the fact that fellow Nigerians had painted the NNPC with the image of deeply corrupt organization even though the NNPC had not been as transparent as it is now in the last 25 years.

Alison-Madueke who expressed readiness to publish the entire forensic report blamed the current distrust of the NNPC on the many years of non-disclosure and obscure operating procedures recorded in activities in the oil and gas sector.

According to her, “I have said it clearly, over and over that years of non-transparency and opaqueness in the running of the oil and gas sector in this country, and I’m talking about over the last 25 years or so, have of course created some lapses in procedures and processes which various reforms must come into being to take effect and correct. There are no other ways.

However, Buhari who spoke through his Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) asked the president and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government to live up to their flaunted belief in the rule of law and due process, public probity and accountability, by acceding to the request of the National Assembly to submit the forensic audit report from KPMG on the missing $20 billion and go ahead to publish same in mainstream newspapers for Nigerians to assess or query the degree of transparency involved in the controversial transaction.

“Why should the president and the PDP develop the feet of clay like an immovable Colossus when the representatives of the people in the National Assembly asked for copies of the forensic audit report, which public outcry forced the government to procure in the first place?” queried Malam Garba Shehu, APCPCO Director of Media and Publicity in a signed statement on Monday in Abuja.

“So many respected experts on the national economy have condemned the wanton waste of the country’s hard currency earnings at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“Worse still, those in charge have treated Nigerians with impunity by hiding the facts relating to petro-dollar trade from the taxpayers. Some of them have been gallivanting and globe-trotting around the world in luxury while their compatriots languish in poverty and squalor,” Shehu said.

The APCPCO spokesman questioned the audacity of the president, PDP and NNPC in disobeying the NASS request to scrutinise the KPMG audit of an alleged grossly corrupt government agency (NNPC).

“Is the NNPC a sacred cow? And should the president be an umpire in a game to which he’s a contender, or a judge in his own case?” Shehu queried.

“Is the president and his Petroleum Minister telling Nigerians that no wrong has been done in terms of stealing of public funds? If corruption was established in any form, is anyone listed for punishment? It is pertinent to put all these information in the public domain for third party verification.

” The KPMG report funded by taxpayer’s money is itself a public property. And until this is done, the NNPC under President Jonathan shall remain in public consciousness the abattoir for corruption, immodesty, dishonesty and impunity.”

The forensic audit report presented by the Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, had indicated that the allegation of unremitted $49.8bn, $10.8bn or $20bn was false. The report was stated that the total amount that accrued from crude oil lifting was $67bn out of which a total of $50.81bn was remitted into the Federation Account.

The balance, the report stated, was used for petrol and kerosene subsidies and NNPC operations expenses. It also directed the NNPC to remit the sum of $1.48bn, which the report said is “unremitted NPDC signature bonus due for divested assets and taxes/royalties”.

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