Reps question Kyari, allege $5bn not remitted in 14 years 1

Reps question Kyari, allege $5bn not remitted in 14 years

 The House of Representatives’ ad hoc committee set up to investigate stolen crude oil valued at N5tn on Wednesday grilled the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Melee Kyari.

At the investigative hearing, which our correspondent obtained its video footage on Thursday, the management of NNPC and the lawmakers, however, disagreed over the alleged non-remittance of $5bn accrued from crude sales between 2005 and 2019.

Chairman of the committee, Peter Akpatason, noted the irregularities in the various documents submitted by NNPC and other agencies.

He stated that the panel was set up to identify and proffer lasting solutions to oil theft and revenue loss.

Akpatason decried that the illicit act ‘has lasted too long’, saying, “As responsible citizens, it is our collective responsibility to see to the end of the economic crisis in the oil sector.”

The Deputy Majority Leader of the House expressed concern that the stakeholders failed to provide relevant documents that would aid the investigation by the lawmakers.

Akpatason said, “It is, however, very worrisome that the ad hoc committee requested for some specific information, particularly the certified true copies of oil royalty, PPT, entitlement of proceeds of production sharing contracts for 2005 and 2019; and after a long delay, the submission received works from 2003 to 2009, leaving out the chunk of the years that we are suppose to be looking at.

“I will like to bring to notice that in the cause of this investigation, the ad hoc committee, through forensic analysis of whatsoever submission from various stakeholders in the sector, observed huge discrepancies in the submissions made by various agencies of government, particularly DPR and NNPC.

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“These variances range from figures on offshore processing of crude oil, DSDP swap, processed crude oil by the three refineries, conversion of crude oil to export, FIRS borrowing crude oil to …non-remittance of funds amounting to about $5bn into the Federation Account.”

The lawmaker stated that apart from the unaccounted crude oil, the committee also observed that there were other sources of oil losses that directly affected revenue generation, especially relating to joint ventures and under-lifting of the nation’s share of crude oil.

Responding, Kyari argued that between 2015 and 2021, “there is significant decline in the losses that we suffer in terms of other things or vandals in the country.”

The GMD of NNPC attributed the success to concerted efforts by industry stakeholders, the corporation and NNPC and security agencies ‘to curtail the excesses, but they still do occur’.

Kyari stated that the NNPC was willing to share relevant data on the corporation’s transactions with the panel, including those that had yet to be submitted.

The NNPC boss, “There are always discrepancies in the data between NNPC and other agencies of government, even between us and our partners.”

According to him, it is not surprising as the typical practice in the industry is that the point of recording, audit and the timing of recording always determine the numbers. “It is a very mobile environment because the data you have today is not the same thing tomorrow,” he noted.

Kyari also noted that there were a number of forensic audits that had been done over the years which always ended up reconciling to extreme margin and non-existence.

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