Senate Asks NNPC, CBN To Provide Documents Of $3.12 billion NLNG Withdrawals

The Senate has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to submit documents used in withdrawing $3.12billion from the account of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).

It charged them to unfailingly produce the documents used in 22 withdrawals in the last three years.

The upper chamber made the order yesterday in Abuja at a meeting between the Senate committee on gas and stakeholders in the industry.

But the management of the NNPC, represented by the Chief Financial Officer, Isiaka Abdulrasak, called for widening of scope of the investigation to cover the entire 45 withdrawals made from the account from 1999 till date.

Abdulrasaq, who wanted to shed more light on the total cost of the withdrawals, was, however countered by the Committee Chairman, Senator Bassey Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom North East).

This led to one of the committee members, Senator Osinachukwu Ideozu (APC Rivers West) expressing concern about the competence of Abdulrasaq to occupy the CFO position in NNPC.

He said this was based on the way he had been confrontational with the committee in his answer to the questions posed to him.

Akpan told Abdulrasaq that he cannot dictate to the committee, how to go about its findings, “so you must abide by our rules of engagement and not teach us our work.”

He said from the brief the NNPC submitted to the committee, there were a lot of missing links, which the committee will be required to work on.

The committee chairman directed the NNPC to furnish it with all dividends accruing from the NLNG and all withdrawals from the account since 2015.

According to him, the corporation has up till November 30 to supply the comprehensive list.

He equally told the CBN Acting Director of Banking Services, Christopher Olumukore, who stood in for CBN Governor, Godwin Emefele to submit the documents within one week, including all the originating mandates and approvals.

He directed the CBN to also submit to the committee by November 30, statement of account of the NLNG dividend account domiciled with the apex bank.

He said the committee would reconvene on December 1, to look at all the submissions by both NNPC and CBN.

Olumukore had earlier said both NNPC and the Ministry of Finance were operating the dividend account domiciled with the apex bank.

According to him, mandates for withdrawal from the account were usually from the NNPC and on other occasions from the Finance Minister.

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