A whopping sum of $12.9 billion dividends of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) was not remitted to the Federation Account between 2005 and 2013 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
This was made known by Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi, on Monday in Abuja. Fayemi is also the chairman of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) board. Fayemi’s declaration came from an audit report of the NEITI. According to the report, the unremitted funds were the sum of dividends, interest and loan repayment from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG). “The audit revealed that NLNG paid the sum of $1.289 billion as dividend, interest and loan repayment for 2013.
NNPC acknowledged receipt of this amount, but did not remit it to either the federal government or the federation. However, it is important to also note that the 2013 figure brings to $12.9 billion the total NLNG payments received by the NNPC between 2005 and 2013, but not remitted by the NNPC to the federal government or the federation,” the report presented by the minister read. The report also revealed that Nigeria lost $518 million to offshore processing arrangement and crude for product swap arrangement in 2013. NEITI recommended that “the NNPC and its sub units refund outstanding payments to the federation.”
“Government should investigate the status of NLNG dividends; NNPC should discontinue alternative importation arrangements and limit itself to export of crude and import of refined products; NNPC should abide by the federal government financial regulations, and always comply with the 90-day credit period,” it added.
Responding to a question on whether the NNPC had returned some of the unremitted funds, Fayemi said: “It is possible that certain refunds have been made, but that will not detract from the veracity of the report.” In 2013 alone, NNPC did not remit up to $5bn to the federation account in 2013, the audit alleged. NEITI said the outstanding revenue for the year stood at $3.79 billion and N358.27 billion ($1.81 billion at current CBN rate). Of significance is the allegation that the sum of $1.29bn dividend from the NLNG due the federation account was not remitted by the corporation in 2013.
Giving the breakdown, NEITI said the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the exploration arm of NNPC, did not remit outstanding payments of $1.7 billion on the eight oil mining licenses (OMLs) from the NNPC/ SPDC joint venture. NPDC also withheld $414,000 and N249.2 million refunds on OML 26 in the NNPC/SPDC divested asset, the audit report said, adding that there was an outstanding N2.17 billion cash call refund on OML 42 from the same asset.