The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised alarm over attempts by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to move $1.2 billion from banks to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in a bid cover up unremitted funds.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party reiterated its call on the federal government to conduct an investigation into the whereabouts of the dividends allegedly paid to the NNPC by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (NLNG), as well as the taxes paid to the FIRS Federation Account prior to the latest payment in June 2015.
The APC said the move by the NNPC is a panic reaction to the exposure of over $4 billion dollars missing in past dividends paid to the NNPC by the NLNG.
‘’Whereas NLNG’s dividends are paid to NNPC’s account with JP Morgan, from where they are supposed to be paid into the Federation Account in accordance with the law, some unscrupulous officials of the corporation have apparently been moving such funds to local banks so they can collect huge commissions on them.
‘’Now that the cat has been let out of the bag, they have started moving the funds from the banks to the CBN. We believe what we are seeing now is just a tip of the iceberg, hence the need for the authorities to call the NNPC officials to give accounts of the paid NLNG dividends to date,’’ APC said.
The party said any delay in calling the officials to account for the dividends may give them enough time to cover their tracks, in addition to the dangers posed to the banks – and by extension the economy – by the sudden withdrawal of such a huge fund from the NNPC accounts with them.
‘’The top officials of the NNPC and others who met on Monday and decided to withdraw the $1.2 billion from the corporation’s account to the CBN must be asked a number of questions, including their motive for the decision and the whereabouts of the commissions paid on such funds,’’ it said.