The House of Representatives has launched an investigation into the earnings of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from since the beginning of this year.
The lawmakers said the ambiguities surrounding the running of state-owned oil firm made it imperative for the lawmakers to ascertain the volume of production of oil within the period under review.
The probe will also ascertain the country’s earnings for that period, an ad hoc panel will also find out the status of cash calls involving joint venture operations including the template used in arriving at the sharing formula.
Also, the House will be looking at the exchange rate during the period due to the fact that NNPC sells its crude in dollars but remits to the Consolidated Revenue Account (CRA) in naira.
The decision of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a matter of urgent national importance by Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta), who said the failure of NNPC to remit about N100b into the CFA threw states and local governments that depended on the monthly allocation into a financial challenge that affected the payment of their June salaries.
He said the development was frustrating as it was not the first time such under – remittances would be made by NNPC.
“Such under-remittance at a time when oil price is high and stable calls for an investigation because if not addressed, NNPC would just inform the nation one day that it has nothing to remit to the CRA from its crude oil sales. One organisation cannot be allowed to make a black spot on Nigeria,” he added.
Dennis Amadi (PDP, Enugu) regretted that the country’s commonwealth is being mismanaged by NNPC, lending credence to allegations in the past on how the organisation is being managed.
According to him, the corporation’s head was being alleged to have disbursed $5billion for oil prospecting, constructing highways in other countries as a well as payment of oil subsidies without due process.
“NNPC seems to be higher than everyone but there’s a need to pressure it into doing what is right,” he said.