Reps probe alleged withdrawal of $1.5bn from NLNG account

The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to investigate the alleged illegal withdrawal of 1.05 billion dollars from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) account by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by the Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP/Delta) at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion earlier, Elumelu recalled that the NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989, adding that that the aim was to produce liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export purpose which began in 1999.

According to him, the NLNG is jointly owned by the Government of Nigeria, represented by the NNPC with a shareholding of 49 per cent.

The lawmaker said that Shell Gas has a share of 25.6 per cent, Total LNG Nigeria Ltd. has 15 per cent and ENI International 10.4 per cent.

“The 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.

“The NNPC who 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 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 dollars was spent.

“There are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

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“Hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account,” Elumelu said.

Ruling on the motion, the House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the House Committee on Public Accounts to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that had taken place on the dividends account.

Gbajabiamila mandated the committee to invite the managements of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG in the process and report back to the House in four weeks

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Chuka Francis

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