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Sanusi Lied About $49.8bn Missing Money – Senate Committee

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SanusiThe Senate Committee on Finance on Wednesday described as untrue allegations by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, that $49.8bn was missing from the Federation Account.The committee, led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, which submitted its report also said the total crude oil lifting from January 2012 to July 2013 was $67bn and not $65bn as claimed by Sanusi.
Sanusi had written President Goodluck Jonathan alleging that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had failed to remit $49.8bn, being part of the income it generated from the sale of crude oil to the Federation Account.But the committee stated that all the agencies, which made presentations to it, agreed after reconciliation that $47bn out of the $67bn had been credited to the Federation Account, leaving only $20bn yet to be accounted for.
It added that the $5.254bn spent on subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, which was part of the $20bn, was covered by the Appropriation Acts of 2012 and 2013.

It, however, said that $3.512bn for kerosene subsidy certified by PPPRA for the period January 2012 to July 2013 was not appropriated for by the National Assembly.

The committee, therefore, asked the management of the NNPC to refund $262m to the Federation Account, being the expenses it could not satisfactorily defend during the just concluded probe of the alleged missing $49.8bn.
It also asked the corporation to remit the balance of $218m out of the $2.4bn third party financing, out of which the share of the Federation Account was $1.58bn. It also recommended the complete stoppage of the subsidy regime in the country.

The $262m, which the NNPC was asked to refund, was in respect of holding strategic stock reserve, pipeline maintenance and management cost, and capital expenditure.
The committee stated in the report, “There is the need for the subsidy regime to be totally discontinued with. All stakeholders, however, should be consulted and carried along as much as possible before abolishing the subsidy.”
It further noted that royalties and taxes amounting to $447.8m, being outstanding from the Federation Account share from the $6.815bn listings by the NNPC on behalf of the NPDC, remained unremitted

It also noted that gross lifting under the third party financing arrangement was $2.4bn, out of which the share for Federation Account was $1.588bn
“The Attorney-General of the Federation confirmed and gave documentary evidence showing the sum of $1,370,172,650.36 was remitted to the Federation Account,” the report stated.
The committee, therefore, recommended that the NNPC should remit the balance of $218,069,354.32 to the Federation Account

“The NNPC should refund and remit to the Federation Account the sum of $262m, being expenses it could not satisfactorily defend of holding strategic stock reserve; pipeline maintenance and management cost and capital expenditure,” it stated.

It said that further legislative action by the Senate should be taken after the receipt of the forensic audit being undertaken at the NNPC by the Auditor-General for the Federation and auditors.

It asked the NNPC not pay for its operational expenditures directly from the federation’s funds without appropriation by the National Assembly and that the corporation should strictly adhere to international best practices in keeping records.
Other recommendations are: “That the NNPC should not control the revenue account of the NPDC in order not to undermine its separate legal status and make accountability more difficult.

“That average number of days taken to discharge a vessel load of 33 and a half days as against the expected one and a half days resulting in $207.8m demurrage.
“The committee could not see how the figure of $49.8bn was arrived at by the CBN governor in the first instance.

“That the CBN governor at the first hearing had forwarded the figure of $12bn as money to be reconciled and changed his position to $20bn at subsequent hearings.
“At the conclusion of his written submission, Sanusi posited that it could be $20bn, $12bn, $10.8bn or anything in between.
“The CBN governor orally or in writing never outright submitted that money was missing but that money was not remitted to the Federation Account by the NNPC.”

The committee also recommended that President Goodluck Jonathan should prepare and present to the National Assembly a supplementary budget to cover the over-expenditure in the sum of N90.693bn for PMS subsidy for 2012.
It also said the sum of N685.910bn for kerosene subsidy expended without appropriation by the National Assembly in 2012 and 2013 should also be covered by the supplementary budget.
The committee observed that there was lack of proper and adequate coordination between key agencies of the government such as Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the CBN, NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources, and Federal Inland Revenue Service.

It noted that the issue of non-remittance of oil revenue was not new and that it was the not the CBN governor that first discovered it, adding that it had been a recurring issue at the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee meetings.
The committee, however, stated that it could not see how the figure of $49.8bn was arrived at by the CBN in the first instance.

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Details of IBB’s meeting with lawmakers in Minna revealed

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Former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, on Thursday, told members of the Niger State House of Assembly, that they have met the expectations of the people.

IBB stated this when the lawmakers visited him at his Uphill home in Minna.

“I have been looking forward to meeting with you.

“I am proud to say that you have been doing well. You are meeting our expectations.

“We have heard of states lacking synergy among the arms of the government, but in Niger State that should not be your lot.

“Keep a good working relationship between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. You have been doing this and I want you to keep it up.

“You are closer to the people. It is your responsibility to know what the people need and carry them along all the time. Do not leave them outside your projects and programmes,” he said.

Speaker Abdullahi Bawa Wuse explained that they visited the former President, to get the blessings required to run the legislature effectively.

“We are here to get the blessing of our father; this is because we know your concern and commitment to the development of this state and Nigeria.

“Outside office, you have done more than you did while in office. Your role as a father in the nation has ensured that Nigeria remains indivisible,” Bawa said.

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Tribunal upholds Ikpeazu’s election, dismisses Alex Otti’s petition

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The three-man panel of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, and chaired by Justice A.L. Ogumoye, has dismissed the petition filed by 2019 APGA gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Alex Otti against the declaration of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu.

The tribunal ruled that the petitioner failed to prove the case of over-voting, non-compliance to the INEC election guideline and electoral act.

Recall that Alex Otti had asked the tribunal to cancel fifteen out of the seventeen local government areas’ election results in Abia State.

Otti claimed that the respondents, PDP, and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who was the governorship candidate of PDP perpetrated excessive malpractice in those LGAs in the last March 9, 2019, election conducted in the state.

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Importers Smuggling Rice In Tyres, Says Economist

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Due to the closure of Nigeria’s borders with Benin Republic, rice smugglers are seeking out more devious ways of importing the product into the country.

National Coordinator of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, Dr Oladapo Ganiyu, while speaking with SaharaReporters said that people have resulted to fitting bags of rice into tyres of automobiles. 

Ganiyu, who claims this method is carcinogenic, said the border closure was untimely.

He said, “The closure of the border now is untimely. People are now packing rice inside tyres.

“When the four tyres are rolling, will you suspect there is rice there? The way they are bringing it in, it can cause cancer.

“The people I have spoken with on commercial buses and market women, say the rice is not sweet and it takes time to cook.”

Speaking further, Ganiyu said ICEN will give the government’s new economic team six months before judging their performance.

For over 30 days, Nigeria’s border with Benin Republic and parts of its Northern border with Niger Republic had been closed.

Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, insists that the border closure will not cease until concerned West African states stop the smuggling of parboiled rice from their country into Nigeria. 

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