The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been chastised by the Senate for failing to pay N3.88 trillion in earnings from domestic crude oil sales to the Federation Account from January to December 2015.
Since a result, the Corporation was ordered by the upper chamber to cease further deductions at source, as this would be in violation of Section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
It also ordered the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) or any other approving authority to approve an agreed proportion that should be allocated to NNPC monthly as operating expense as soon as possible to ensure that their operations are not harmed.
These were among the 59 Senate recommendations made in the Committee on Public Accounts’ report on the Annual Report of the Auditor-General for the Federation on the Accounts of the Federation for the years ending December 31, 2015.
The Senate stated in one of its adopted recommendations to the Executive branch of government that the outstanding collection from Solid Minerals (N12,137,140,361.58) not remitted to the Federation Account but kept in an account maintained by the Central Bank of Nigeria violates Section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
As a result, the chamber charged the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) with determining a percentage to be allocated to Mining and Cadastral Office as cost of collection, similar to the percentages now applied to non-oil revenue by NCS (7%), DPR (4%), and FIRS (4%).
The upper chamber demanded the sanctioning of Accounting Officers of MDAs in compliance with Rule 3124 of the Financial Regulations on Unretired Advances involving 39 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) totaling N2,296,567,084.37.
It also set Ahmed Idris, the Federation’s Accountant-General, a 90-day deadline to identify and discipline officers involved for misappropriation of public funds totaling N54,151,360,000 ($274,280,000.00) in exchange loss on External Loans.
Within ninety days, the Accountant General is supposed to submit a report to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts.
In addition, the Senate authorized the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation further 90 days to start the process of recovering N390,288,085,668.92 in internal loans made from other funds, which would be paid back into the Special Funds Accounts.
The loans are funded through the Development of Natural Resources Account, the Stabilization Fund Account, the 25% Husked Brown Rice Levy, the 1% Comprehensive Supervision Scheme (CISS) Pool Levy, the 15% Wheat Grain Levy, and the 10% Rice Levy.
In a related development, the Senate ordered the Accountant-General of the Federation to recover N378,879,674.99 in tax revenue from Webb Fontaine Ltd and remit it to the Federal Inland Revenue Service within six (6) months.
It also demanded an examination of all companies that received money from the 1% CISS Account, which totaled N39,557,671,843.97.
Due to a lack of thoroughness in the examination of NPA’s costs on a contract for towage services, the upper chamber also ordered the Nigerian Posts Authority to refund $37,627,939.75 (USD) to the federal government coffers.
It also instructed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate the Accounting Officer in accordance with Financial Regulations Rule 3112 (I and II).
The upper chamber also demanded that the Director-General, who authorized the disbursement of N417,099,309.06 in contingency provision on the contract for the rehabilitation of Lagos Habour moles without the approval of the Federal Executive Council, report to President Muhammadu Buhari in accordance with Rule 3103 of the Financial Regulations.
On other funds diverted by the NPA, the Senate demanded a refund of N1,075,266,599.06, $2,301,329.54 (USD), and €196,257.42 (Euros) meant for the Presidential Implementation Committee on Marine Safety and Security (PICOMSS) to the account of the National Security Adviser to the President, in violation of a directive approved by the Federal Economist.
It went on to say that the non-payment of additional N67,508,041,250.00 into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for 2013 and 2014, which amounted to 25% of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), was in violation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
It further stated that the failure to remit capitalized interest of N99,712,464.24 to the Consolidated Revenue Fund between 2013 and 2014 was in violation of Financial Regulations Rule 236.
The Senate has called for the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to be sanctioned in accordance with Rule 3129 of the Financial Regulations and Public Service Rules 030402 over the diversion of N23,642,000.00 from the Capital Projects Funds for the purchase of Sallah/Christians welfare packages for Ministry staff.
The upper chamber demanded that the sums of N46,645,000.00 and N56,418,135.00 for the printing of the Ministry’s letter-headed paper be recovered and returned to the treasury.
It further demanded that the Project Accountant who permitted the diversion of N32,783,052.00 intended for IPPIS training and other programs to the bank accounts of Finance and Accounts Department workers instead of paying the approved amounts to beneficiaries be identified.
The Senate asked that the money be returned to the government, including the sum of N718,911,848.00 made in the cashbook as undocumented payments to eleven corporate bodies.
The chamber also demanded that the Ministry identify and prosecute the officers responsible for the approval of N98,400,000.00 in favour of a company for the printing of leaflets for the Petroleum Industry Bill awareness campaign program; N54,000,000.00 in favour of a company for the assessment and documentation of Oil Spill sites in ten (10) states of the Niger Delta; and N25,000,000.00 in favour of a company for the assessment and documentation of Oil Spill sites in ten (10) states of the Niger Delta; and N25
The Senate stated that the violations were in violation of Senate Rule 3117.
The Senate has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to prosecute the Ministry of Youths and Sports (National Sports Commission) officers who certified the payment of N37,185,000.00 from the Capital Vote allotment within 30 days.
It also ordered the recovery of N2,695,985.00 from the Director-General of the Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), who approved the cash to be paid to individuals rather than a company’s account.
As a result, the Senate demanded that the Accounting Officer with SMEDAN be prosecuted for approving an amount of N38,038,238.14 without appropriate and supporting papers, in violation of existing laws.
The chamber demanded that the EFCC prosecute officers of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading PLC (NBET) who were responsible for the non-remittance of accumulated interest on investments in Nigeria Treasury Bills within thirty days.
It also asked for the prosecution of officers from the National Hospital in Abuja and the Rural Electrification Agency who were involved in the diversion of N20,915,998.00 and N14,086,246.00, respectively, within the same time period.
The Senate has asked the Medical Director of Jos University Teaching Hospital to restore N26,321,041.01 to the Treasury, and the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, to pay back N19,382,047.50.
As a result, the CRF and Treasury have been directed to remit the sums of N3,716,805,388.00, N100,958,369.61, N374,734,768.46, and N161,336,427.80 to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Abuja.
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