NLNG dividends: Reps summon NNPC over $1.05bn illegal withdrawals

The House of Representatives has asked for investigation of alleged illegal withdrawal of about $1.05 billion from dividends account of the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG), by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

 The House at its Tuesday plenary mandated its committee on public accounts to invite the managements of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG, to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that has taken place on the dividends account and report back in four weeks.

This came following a motion by Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, who argued that dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the consolidated revenue funds account of the federal government  and to be shared amongst the three tiers of government.

The NLNG is jointly owned by the government of Nigeria, and represented by the NNPC with a shareholding of 49 percent, Shell gas B.V with 25.6 percent, TOTAL LNG Nigeria Limited with 15 percent, and ENI international owning 10.4 percent.

Elumelu expressed worries that the NNPC which represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG “had unilaterally without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the national assembly illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of 1.05 billion dollars, thereby violating the nations appropriation law.

According to him, “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 dollars was spent”.

He noted further that there were no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG  by the office of the auditor general of the federation, hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account.

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