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Nigeria’s Accountant General Duped VP Osinbajo, Governors; ₦324 Billion Oil Money

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The report, submitted to NEC by Mohammed Dikwa, the then director of funds, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), revealed a startling discrepancy of about ₦323.58 billion, which his analysis failed to explain.

President Muhamadu Buhari later appointed Mr Dikwa Acting Accountant-General of the Federation before Ahmed Idris emerged as the Accountant General.

The oil report, exclusively dated June 29, 2015 was presented at the 58th Meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC).

The NEC comprises of the 36 state governors, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and other co-opted members. The NEC is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The report detailed NNPC’s crude oil revenue, remittances to the Federation Account and amount withheld by the NNPC.

I oil revenue for each year. But that was not the case with the OAGF report.
Year     Crude cost (Revenue)

(a)
Amount Paid into FAAC

(b)
Withheld by NNPC

(c)
Unreported Amount in FAAC

d=a-b-c
2012     ₦1,844,764,591,969     ₦927,312,350,869     ₦774,382,841,100     ₦143,069,400,000
2013     ₦2,727,834,769,083     ₦1,466,951,625,000     ₦1,179,883,171,083     ₦80,999,973,000
2014     ₦2,541,454,301,641     ₦1,341,545,651,272     ₦1,114,306,750,369     ₦85,601,900,000
2015     ₦1,031,691,963,044     ₦591,681,318,358     ₦426,102,269,704     ₦13,908,374,982
Total     ₦8,145,745,625,737     ₦4,327,490,945,499     ₦3,494,675,032,256     ₦323,579,647,982

Cumulatively, the report by the OAGF failed to explain what NNPC did with ₦323,579,647,982.

However, three critical federal institutions – the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) – all saddled with the responsibility of managing the nation’s oil revenue, failed woefully in spotting the unaccounted billions.

NEC too failed to spot the discrepancy.

It remains unclear why the Office of the Accountant General would present a comprehensive report to NEC on the amount withheld by the NNPC from crude oil sales, yet offering no explanation whatsoever for the about ₦323.58 billion not captured.

Efforts to get the NNPC, the OAGF, the CBN and the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation to explain the discrepancies in oil revenue accounting have been repeatedly rebuffed by the agencies.

Premium Times is presently in court with some of the agencies regarding Freedom of Information requests on the matter unanswered or declined by the organisations.

The huge and systemic losses over the years have had their toll on social services and infrastructure development funding.

Although the unaccounted ₦323.58 billion was only four percent (4%) of the oil revenue for three and half years (₦8,145,745,625,737), the amount is enough to cater for a huge chunk of Nigeria’s 2016 capital budget allocation.

In the last three years of the Jonathan regime, the NNPC was frequently accused of of corruption and non-remittances of accurate oil revenues.

Under President Jonathan, Nigerians were treated with monumental discrepancies in figures of oil revenue earnings released by the NNPC on one hand and the CBN on the other.

The opaqueness that characterized that era created a financial Augean stables that the oil report presented to the NEC was supposed to clean up.

Curiously the CBN, the Ministry of Finance as well as the Accountant General’s office all chose to demonstrate poor arithmetic, all at the same time.

Whilst the NNPC, OAGF and the Ministry of Finance would always defend their figures saying the funds in questions were covered under cost of production, it is widely believed that the unaccounted oil revenues end up in private pockets.

Ms Alex Gillies, an oil and gas research expert, commenting on reasons for discrepancies and loss of funds, said “some of these funds weren’t “lost” per se, but rather they were spent by NNPC in a secretive and inefficient manner”.

Calling for a revamp or reforms in the sector, Ms Gilles holds that funds discrepancies and secretive dealings aside, “there’s no question that Nigeria can’t afford the current system– especially not now that oil prices are so low.

“If the previous government had blocked some of these leakages, Nigeria would have had the savings it needs to weather the current economic hardship,” Gillies stressed.

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