Members of the House of Representatives at a Plenary in NASS, Abuja, FCT

NASS investigates power sector, NNPC’s alleged $1.05bn withdrawals from NLNG account

*Contends billions of Naira sunk into electricity sector have yielded no positive results

*House is worried that ‘NNPC illegally tampered with funds in NLNG dividends account to tune of $1.05bn’

*There are no records showing the audit, recovery of accrued funds from NLNG

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In the spirit of fiscal responsibility and public accountability in the management of the nation’s assets, the Nigerian House of Representatives has commenced a probe of the critical power sector.

It was learnt that the exercise is being carried out by the Adhoc Committee, led by the Ado Doguwa, House Majority Leader.

Doguwa said the all-important sector of the nation’s economy is currently confronted with the issue of liquidity, with the gas suppliers claiming billions of Naira being owed them.

Another major challenge is the fact that tariffs are not cost-reflective, he reportedly said.

The mandate of the Adhoc Committee of the House covers the entire privatisation process which Nigerians and the Federal lawmakers say has shown no improvement in the power sector.

Prof. James Momoh (l) Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) at the Investigative Hearing in NASS 

According to them, this remains the situation in the sector despite billions of Naira that have been sunk into it thus far.

In the meantime, the House of Representatives has expressed its preparedness to investigate the alleged illegal withdrawal of funds from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited amounting to $1.05bn by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Report says that House resolution is sequel to the adoption of a motion titled: “Need to Investigate the Illegal Withdrawals from the NLNG Dividends Account by the Management of NNPC”, which Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Minority Leader, moved at the plenary Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

The House, therefore, has mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to “invite the managements of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that have taken place on the dividends account and report back to the House in four weeks.”

Hon. Elumelu, moving the motion, stated that the NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989, with the aim of producing liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export purposes, while its production began in 1999.

Malam Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Managing Director, NNPC

The NLNG was jointly owned by the Government of Nigeria, represented by the NNPC, with a shareholding of 49 percent, while Shell Gas B.V has 25.6 percent; Total LNG Nigeria Limited, 15 percent; and ENI International, 10.4 percent.

“The House is aware that the dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Funds account of the Federal Government and to be shared amongst the three tiers of government.

“The House is worried that the NNPC, which represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG, had unilaterally, without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly, illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of $1.05bn, thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.

“The House is disturbed that there was no transparency in this extra-budgetary spending, as only the Group Managing Director and the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer had the knowledge of how the $1.05bn was spent.

“The House is concerned that there are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account.”

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