By Etuka Sunday
Despite the heavy dispute between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) last year over non-remittance, the corporation said it met its financial obligations to the Federation Account in 2018 by remitting
N1.26 trillion as against the N1.22 trillion projected in the 2018 budget, recording a surplus of N41billion.
Managing Director of NNPC Capital, Mr. Godwin Okonkwo, made this submission when he represented the Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru during a presentation to the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Investigation of the Non-Remittances of Funds to the Federation Account by the corporation between July 2017 and December 2018 at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.
A release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, on Tuesday quoted the GMD as saying that though 2.3million barrels per day (mbpd) was proposed in the 2018 budget, national daily production for the period under review oscillated between 1.9mbpd to 1.89mbpd.
Dr. Baru listed the two sources of inflows into the Federation Account from the NNPC to include equity crude oil sales less cost of recovery from the Joint Venture cash call arrears and domestic crude less cost recovery, adding that the JV cash call arrears were being efficiently managed now to ensure steady inflows to the Federation Account.
“The current management of NNPC ensures that it contributes to the cost of the production of crude oil and gas in the upstream sector to avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past. If we had made cash call payments in the past, the arrears that we are liquidating now would not have arisen. The current situation creates a win-win scenario for the country. The NNPC is strategically saving for the rainy day to make a better future for all of us by liquidating the arrears”, Mr. Okonkwo posited.
He noted that the corporation on a regular and sustained basis balanced up with the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and the JV cash calls in order to make sure that the future generations do not suffer from the legacy debt.
The NNPC Capital MD dismissed the allegations by Commissioners of Finance of under remittances by the Corporation, adding that the NNPC was a going business concern that met financial obligations to its various stakeholders.
Dr. Baru stated that investment in the Oil and Gas Industry took time to mature, adding that if the NNPC failed in its obligation to invest in the sector, there would be nothing to share by the various tiers of government.
Responding to a question on whether the NNPC 2018 audited account was ready, Dr. Baru stated that the 2018 audited account would be ready next month, adding that NNPC had cleared its backlog of unaudited account. He attributed the delay to some Joint Venture partners that were being awaited to turn in their budget performance for the 2018 budget circle to be completed.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema Wilfred, praised the NNPC for responding to all the issues raised, stressing that the interface would go a long way to putting to rest allegations of non-remittances of funds against the NNPC.