The management of NNPC has said operational loss by the corporation contributes significantly to the non-remittance of N142.7 billion internally-generated fund to the Federal Consolidated Account.
The NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, made this known at a media briefing to clarify issues raised by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Represented by Dr. Omar Ibrahim, the General Manager, Media Relations, Yakubu said operational loss and harsh operational environment had made it difficult for the corporation to declare any surplus over the years.
“We should like to emphasise that strictly speaking NNPC cannot be expected to sweep funds into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, since the law specifically says it is surplus that should be so paid.
“In a situation where due to no fault of ours, we operate at a loss, there would not be any surplus to pay. Of course, we are all living witnesses to the causes of our operational losses,” he said.
He listed challenges contributing to the operational loss to include pipeline vandalism, oil theft and the fact that the NNPC buys crude at international rate and sells at regulated prices.
“Equally important is our role as product supplier of last resort. This particular role has taken a huge toll on our finances, but as Federal Government-owned corporation we take this responsibility seriously,” he added.
He however said despite the challenges the NNPC had remitted about N400 billion monthly from its upstream operations to Federal Government.
Yakubu noted that the NNPC had already appeared before the House Committee on Finance to clarify the issue and that the Chairman of the committee had already instituted a committee that was currently sorting out the issue.
He said members of the committee looking at the corporation’s books include officials from the Account General of the Federation’s office and the house committee on finance.
He, however, said the NNPC was surprised at statements credited to the chairman committee on Finance, Mr. Abdulmumin Jubril, that the NNPC owed the Federal government N142.7 billion unremitted revenue.
“The management of the NNPC notes with regrets the statements credited to the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on finance, saying that the corporation owes the Federal Government the sum of N142.7 billion in unremitted internally generated fund meant to be paid into the Federal Consolidated Account.”
He noted that a review meeting took place on March 7 at the NNPC Towers where the account department provided all the documents requested from the NNPC and its 16 subsidiaries which were initially left out of the house committee’s report.
He wondered why the chairman of the committee had gone to the press to say the NNPC owed such amount when the committee it set up was still working.
“Curiously enough, even before the team could conclude their assignment Jibrin for reasons that we cannot fathom, put the corporation in bad light.
“He went to town with news that his committee has uncovered a debt of N142.7 billion that the corporation was owing to the Federal Government.”
He assured that the NNPC would continue to strive to live up to its mandate as contained in the Act establishing the corporation.
Report says that the N142.7 billion comprises N78.69 billion accrued to government out of a total revenue of N6 trillion generated by NNPC and its subsidiaries between 2009 and 2011.
“Also the balance of N64 billion accrued between January and June, 2012.”
The house committee on finance had threatened to order for the arrest of the NNPC, GMD if it failed to appear before it to clear the issue on Tuesday.