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NLNG dividend: Senate asks OAGF to investigate payment of $18bn to NNPC

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Senate begins probing unrepatriated oil, gas, non-oil export proceeds

…As FEC approves appointment of 8 field experts for forensic audit of NDDC***

The Joint Senate Committee on Finance and National Planning has asked the Office of Account General of the Federation (OAGF) to investigate the payment of 18 billion dollars by Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Sen. Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos -West), conveyed the resolution of the joint committee to the AGF, Mr. Ahmed Idris at the on-going public hearing on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), organised by the committee.

The AGF was mandated to investigate, among other things, if the amount was actually remitted to NNPC, how much was actually remitted to the Federation Account if there was any deduction by NNPC.

The AGF was also asked to investigate how much was deducted and who authorised the deductions and the exchange rates applied for the amount that was remitted over the years under consideration.

Mrs. Eyono Fatai –William, General Manager (External Relations and Sustainable Development) of NLNG had, during her presentation, disclosed that NLNG had paid a dividend of 18 billion dollars billion to NNPC on behalf of Federal Government.

NNPC records 43% drop in oil pipeline vandalism in May — Report

NNPC

 

She had said the payment covered the period of 2004-2020, stressing that NLNG was committed to a culture of transparency and integrity.

She also revealed that the NLNG had also remitted nine billion dollars as tax to the Federal Government from 2011 to date, while 15 billion dollars had also been remitted as payment of field gas to the NNPC since the inception of the company.

She said that NLNG had also provided detailed year by year breakdown of the 18 billion dollars paid to NNPC as Federal Government share of dividend in this manner; 2004; 278 milliion dollars, 2005; 57.4 million dollars, 2006; 332.9 million dollars, 2007; 842.9 million dollars, 2008; 2.6 billion dollars and in 2009; 848.6 billion dollars.

“For 2010, NLNG paid 1.4 billion dollars, 2011, 2.5 billion dollars, 2012, 2.76 billion dollars,2013, 1.26 billion dollars, 20 14, 1.38 billion dollars, while 2015 was 1.043 billion dollars.

“In 2016; 356 million dollars, 2017; 798 million dollars, 2018; 904 million dollars, 2019; 915 million dollars, while 279.5 million dollars was remitted for 2020”, she said.

When Adeola inquired from the AGF, Idris Ahmed, if he could confirm the payment of the humongous dividends to the Federation Account, he said it was difficult to determine with any certainty.

He said that the dividend was usually paid to NNPC that represents the Federal Government in NLNG.

Adeola,however, asked the AGF to confirm and cross check the details of the remmitance and report back to the committee.

Adeola said the confirmation of the remmitance would give the true situation of Federal Government’s investment in NLNG since inception and the performance situation of the company in general.

In another development, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the appointment of eight field experts to undertake the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswin Akpabio, made the disclosure to State House correspondents after the council’s meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

According to the minister, the field auditors will complement the work of the lead auditors, appointed in March.

He said over N300 million was approved for the initial lead auditors and over N700 million for the eight newly appointed auditors as payments for their services.

The minister explained that the auditors would evaluate all the 12,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta region in the last 19 years.

 

Akpabio said: “The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs today presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council and at the end of the deliberations, the memo was approved.

“The memo is basically the appointment of field forensic auditors to undertake the forensic auditing of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

“The field forensic auditors are going to be designated to go through the states of the Niger Delta region.

Also read:  TUC planned protest against EFCC, NDDC, NSITF ill-advised, uncalled for, says Presidency

“Earlier we had the lead forensic auditor that was approved sometime in March; now we have about eight other forensic auditors who have been approved and they are going to be working in the field in the region.”

He said that one of them, Ernst and Young, was an international group that would be in charge of programmes and activities at the headquarters.

“This has really kick-started the commencement of evaluation of the abandoned projects of NDDC in the last 19 years estimated at almost 12,000 projects.

“At the end we will be in the position to know the ones that could be completed, the ones that will be useful and the low hanging fruits that could be plucked for the benefit of the people of the region,’’ he said.

Akpabio said the result of the evaluation would determine the next line of action on the projects.

The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, also told the correspondents that his ministry obtained approval to revise the estimated total cost of consultancy services for the ongoing Ogbese Dam project in Ekiti.

Adamu described the dam project as one of those projects the current administration was eager to complete.

“I presented a memo requesting the council to approve the revised estimated total cost of consultancy services for the ongoing Ogbese Dam Project in Ekiti State.

“This project is one of the 116 projects that we inherited. It was started in 2009.

“It was one of the projects we prioritised for completion since we conducted an audit of all the ongoing projects in 2016. We have been working on it steadily.

“So, we got an augmentation of about N101 million and an extension of 24 months,’’ he said.

 

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Wike, One Of Best Appointees Of Current Administration – Tinubu

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Wike, One Of Best Appointees Of Current Administration – Tinubu

 Those hoping for the removal of Wike, Federal Capital Territory Minister, may be seeking the mirage, as President Bola Tinubu says, the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike “is one of the best appointments ever made in the history of the current democratic dispensation.

The President stated this on Wednesday in Abuja, during the inauguration of the Inner Southern Expressway (ISEX) and the Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX), known as the first phase of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Expressway

Represented by his Vice, Kashim Shettima, the President described Wike as a force of human nature, adding, “Love him, hate him, but you can’t ignore him, because, at every point in time, he is redefining the meaning and concepts of modern leadership.

The President commended Wike and his team, for their dedication and hard work in delivering many projects, including the expressway in less than one year.

Tinubu reiterated his administration’s commitment to engendering progress and prosperity.

He said that the extension of the ISEX represented more than just a road, but symbolizes connectivity, accessibility and opportunity.

”It also signifies our unwavering determination to bridge the gap between the urban and rural areas in ensuring that development is not confined to city centres but reaches every corner of our great nation.

”We celebrate not just the completion of yet another road project by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), but also the commitment of our administration to endangering progress and prosperity.

“Today’s commission is the fourth completed road that we proudly unveiled in the Federal Capital Territory, all executed in less than one year.

”These roads are tangible proof of our administration’s vision for modern, prosperous and inclusive Federal Capital Territory.”

Tinubu assured that in the coming months and years, his administration would continue to prioritise infrastructure development as a cornerstone of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

”We remain committed to delivering on our promises, empowering our people and building a nation that we can all be proud of,” he said.

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Kaduna Assembly C’ttee On Finances Of ex-Gov. El-Rufai submits Report

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Kaduna Assembly C’ttee On Finances Of ex-Gov. El-Rufai submits Report

The ad hoc committee set up by the Kaduna State House of Assembly to investigate all the finances, loans and contracts awarded under the former Gov. Nasir El-Rufai has submitted its report to the house.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Magaji Danjuma, while reading the report on Wednesday stated that the committee had discovered evidence of several cases of alleged corruption in the running of the state from  May 2015 to May 2023.

He said that the committee had also discovered some alleged improper awards of contracts without due process with some loans collected without the approval of the state assembly.

While reading the report summary, the Speaker, Dahiru Liman, said that the El-Rufai administration had a total income of N1.49 trillion in the years under review, adding that some of these monies were allegedly misappropriated.

He added that the Ministry of Finance,  in collaboration with the Kaduna State Inland Revenue Service (KADIRS) reportedly withdrew the sum of N 721.67 million through the use of an ‘unauthorized debit card by a third party’.

Lima n explained that another N30 billion was siphoned from the state’s internally generated revenue by the ministry of finance with some officials of  KADIRS, following other questionable transactions found by the committee.

The speaker explained that the then administration awarded a contract worth N 510.47 billion and left behind the contractor’s public and consultants’ liabilities.

Therefore, the committee recommended that the Kaduna Internal Revenue Service withdraw the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Account domiciled at Zenith Bank as Security for N20 billion guaranteed in 2023.

” And to request the bank to refund all monies deducted on account of the purported illegal guarantee together with the accrued interest thereof.

”That, all the Commissioners of Finance of the State from May 29, 2015, to May 29, 2023, be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for thorough investigation”, he said.

The committee also recommended that

all the Accountant Generals of the State that served during the years be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for investigation including KADIRS chairmen.

Others to be referred to the law enforcement agencies include Ms Dolapo Popoola, the immediate past Managing Director of AlL KAPSCO and Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, for Special Adviser

to the governor on Media and Communication.

Other recommendations were for the current Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the current Executive Secretary, State Pension Bureau to step aside for proper investigation.

The committee stated that all loans obtained by the Kaduna State Government between 29th May 2015 to 29th May 2023 obtained without due process were not binding on the state.

 He added that the state government should henceforth stop honouring all obligations arising from them.

Also, some of the contractors who have not worked or were overpaid should refund to the state government a total sum of N36.35 billion being monies paid for contracts.

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Jimoh Ibrahim Withdraws Suit Against APC, Aiyedatiwa, INEC

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Jimoh Ibrahim Withdraws Suit Against APC, Aiyedatiwa, INEC

 Sen. Jimoh Ibrahim has withdrawn the suit filed challenging the emergence of Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the Nov. 16 governorship election in Ondo state.

Co-defendants in the suit seeking nullification of the party’s governorship primary conducted in the state on April 20 are APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It would be recalled that the senator had after the conduct of the party’s governorship primary held on April 20, alleged irregularities and no election in the 18 local government areas of the state.

At a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Ibrahim attributed the withdrawal of the suit to a series of interventions made by President Bola Tinubu on the phone and physical meeting held with him at the Villa.

He said the litigation was not about him but for the sole purpose of ensuring internal party democracy, which was lacking in the APC governorship primary election.

Ibrahim said: ” The suit is now withdrawn due to the intervention of President  Tinubu.

“The President called me, had a meeting with me, and assured me that he will, as the party leader,  improve on internal democracy within our party.

“And I will need to withdraw the case to enable him to chart a way forward.

“Earlier, the governor visited my Asokoro residence for several hours after an unsuccessful visit to my hotel room in Akure.

” I cannot disobey the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because the issue I’m fighting for is not personal.

“It is simply to improve internal democracy to which the President has promised improvement. My respect for the President is absolute!.”

He thanked Tinubu for his words of wisdom and encouragement during their meeting and for emphasising his commitment to internal democracy again.

“The withdrawal of this legendary suit coincides with the first anniversary of the  President’s incredible performance in office, and this is my gift of the “cake” of the first anniversary,” Ibrahim said. 

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