Investigators are battling to locate a $12.9 billion payment to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparent Initiative (NEITI) have raised a 12-man panel to trace the cash, which was paid to the oil giant by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas ( NLNG).
Some former ministers and past top officials of NNPC may be invited by the EFCC to shed light on the matter.
The $12.9b, which was remitted to NNPC between 2005 and 2013, was neither paid to the Federal Government nor put into the Federation Account.
A source said: “Preliminary investigation showed that NNPC officially confirmed the receipt of the $12.9billion. The oil corporation also admitted that it did not remit the funds.”
NEITI will provide records at its disposal.
There is a strong suspicion that the cash might have been used for miscellaneous expenses, including election financing.
The source also confirmed that the committee might look into non-remittance of $1.8billion proceeds of divestment from some oil blocks. Only $100million was paid into the Federation Account.
“We have a lot of issues to look into but the $12.9billion is certainly a priority. As at 2012, the NLNG cash paid to NNPC was $11.63billion but further investigation confirmed that it hit $12.9billion by 2013.” The source said, adding:
“This investigation requires multi-agency cooperation. There are areas we will involve the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service( FIRS).”
Some of the issues were contained in the NEITI 2015 Annual Activity Report.
The report said in part: “NEITI audit reports confirmed that the sum of $11.63billion has been received by NNPC but has not been remitted to the Federation Account as required by law.
“These findings have been communicated to the Federal Government.
“NNPC assigned its 55% equity in OMLS 4,26, 30,34, 38, 40,41, 42 between 2010 and 2012 under the SPDC /JV Agreement. The value of divestment was assessed by DPR as $1,847,785,233.97 but only the sum of $100million was paid in 2014 and the $100million was not paid into the Federation Account but to NNPC/NPDC Special Account.
“The Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Royalty validation carried out in the 2013 Audit Report revealed total under assessments of the sum of $210.05million for PPT and $456.871million for royalty respectively due to inappropriate application of office variable in the determination of fiscal value for royalty calculation: Realizable Price( RP) or the Official Selling Price (OSP).”