Inaugural meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC, was held at the State House yesterday with the council indicting the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, NNPC, of failing to remit the sum of N3.8 trillion to the coffers under the pretense of using it to run its operations.
The meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo received briefing from necessary federal government bodies on the status of the Excess Crude Account, NNPC remittances and federation account.
Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, Gov Abdulaziz Yari who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting in the company of three other colleagues, said that the federal government would probe the missing funds before looking for ways to raise monies for states to pay their workers’ salaries.
“The 58th NEC‎ received the briefing from the director of funds where the state of the economy has been discussed thoroughly. We have gotten the report from the exceed crude, what is there and what is not there. And also the Council got the briefing ‎on the unremitted funds by NNPC.
“On that line, a four man committee – Edo, Gombe, Kaduna Akwa Ibom – was constituted to go through the books of ‎NNPC and excess crude as well as the federation account.
“The four man committee will check the books of NNPC, most specially the issue of excess crude and what is not remitted into the federation account.
“The federal government in conjunction with the CBN will look inwards to see how to support how much they will give to state, how much they will give to state especially in the issue of outstanding salaries owed by the states and even the federal government,” the governor said.
Fielding questions on the specific findings, Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State noted that this was the first time the NNPC and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation were being compelled by a Presidential order to open the books in a transparent manner.
According to Oshiomole, the council found out that NNPC made N8.1 trillion from 2012 to 2015 but remitted only N4.3 trillion to the federal government.
“We are talking about transparency, we are talking about change. And what we saw from those numbers ‎I believe that Nigerians are entitled to know, is that whereas the NNPC claimed to have earned N8.1 trillion, what NNPC paid into the federation acount from 2012 to May 2015 was N4.3 trillion. What it means is that NNPC withheld and spent N3.8 trillion.”
On the Excess Crude Account, Oshiomole said the last time former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala briefed the council on the status of the account in November last year, she said it contained 4.1 billion dollars but the money has now suddenly gone down to 2 billion dollars.

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