- CBN, NIMASA, NCC , others
- We are ready, says Kachikwu
The much awaited audit of the operations and financial transactions of the nation’s cash cow, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has commenced, Nigerian Pilot can authoritatively report.
The audit is being carried out by a renowned international chattered accounting firm, PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Already, the accounting firm is examining the PPMC (Pipelines and Petroleum Marketing Company) books and records. Audit queries have already being issued to some managers to explain their roles on some ‘not-too-clear’ issues. From PPMC, the auditors would move to other subsidiaries and arms of the conglomerate.
Nigerian Pilot also gathered that similar audit is going on simultaneously in some other revenue generating agencies of government. These include: Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
Confirming the report, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director, NNPC, IbeKachikwu said the corporation is ever ready for investigation or audit stating that they have nothing to fear. Speaking through the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, of the NNPC, OhiAlegbe in an exclusive interview with Nigeria Pilot yesterday, he said that since the present NNPC leadership came on board, it has adopted an open and transparent approach to running the corporation which include- open bidding process for contracts (televised LIVE) , scrapping of oil swap system as well as monthly publication of the NNPC accounts in the media and its website for the public to see. He also said NNPC management has strengthened the corporation’s anti- corruption mechanism to ensure smooth operations while staff welfare has been enhanced.
“Let me tell you quite frankly, we as an organization, are not afraid of probe because we are always ready and willing to submit our records for scrutiny. Right now, MessrsPriceWater House Coopers are currently auditing PPMC accounts.”
Reacting to the directive by the National Economic Council for the audit of NNPC and other revenue generating agencies, the GGM said “we welcome such move and will give them maximum cooperation any time”
President MuhammaduBuhari has in his October 1, 2015 Independence speech ordered a complete audit of all revenue generating agencies in the country as a cleanup measure and to make them more efficient.
Buhari said the probe of the revenue generating agencies became necessary following noticeable widespread corruption in the agencies.
“Preliminary steps have been taken to sanitize NNPC and improve its operations so that the inefficiency and corruption could be reduced to a minimum,”.
“Those of our refineries which can be serviced and brought back into partial production would be enabled to resume operations so that the whole sordid business of exporting crude and importing finished products in dubious transactions could be stopped.
“In addition to NNPC, I have ordered for a complete audit of our other revenue generating agencies mainly CBN, FIRS, Customs, NCC, for better service delivery to the nation.
“Prudent housekeeping is needed now more than ever in view of the sharp decline in world market oil prices. It is a challenge we have to face squarely. But what counts is not so much what accrues but how we manage our resources that “, the president.
This Thursday, the National Economic Council (NEC) rose from its 65th meeting in Abuja, with a resolution to engage two audit firms to conduct forensic audit on 81 government revenue generating agencies, including the NNPC.
The approval followed submission of an interim report by the ad hoc committee of NEC, chaired by Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, to review the management of the Excess Crude Account and remittances into the Federation Account.
The governors of Jigawa, BaderuAbubakar; Anambra, Willie Obiano; Lagos, AkinwumiAmbode; and the Minister for Budget and National Planning, UdomaUdoUdoma, said this in their joint briefing to journalists.
According to Ambode, 18 core revenue generating agencies, such as NNPC, will be audited by KPMG, an international audit firm, while an indigenous firm, SIAO, will audit other non-core revenue generating agencies.
The governor said that NEC would take further action on the agencies after the firms had completed the forensic auditing.
Gov. Obiano gave a report concerning some MDAs collecting revenue in foreign currency and remitting in local currency into the Federation Account.
Obiano said the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance, reported that besides NNPC, NIMASA and NPA, other agencies involved in such practice were FIRS, Nigerian Shippers Council, Airport Authority and Nigeria Immigration Service.
He however said that the official reported that the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) had resolved the problem as all accounts are now under the CBN.
He also said that Vice President YemiOsinbajo, who presided at the NEC, reiterated the Federal Government’s policy that NNPC and other agencies must present budget for approval before spending in line with the TSA.
Also on Thursday, a former Ambassador and Deputy Representative of Nigeria at the United Nations, Chief OladapoFafowora, has called on the Federal Government to take its anti-corruption war to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Fafowora stated this at the 11th annual AdekunleKukoyi Memorial Lecture organised by the Lagos State Branch of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors in Lagos , adding that there should be a holistic fight against corruption in the country.
“The searchlight against corruption should be extended to other public agencies, including the NNPC and the CBN. It is no exaggeration to say that virtually all public institutions in our country have been gripped by the vice of corruption,” he said.
The former envoy noted that strong measures, including rebuilding of public institutions, should be introduced to address the challenge of corruption.