NNPC Remits $2.7bn To CBN In Six Months

NNPC Tackles CBN Over Non-remittance Claim

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited deposited a total of N2.7 billion into its accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in six months according to a document on NNPC remittances to the CBN.

Contrary to CBN claims that the weakening of the naira was caused by NNPC’s failure to remit funds into Nigeria’s foreign reserves, the document stated that $645 million of the $2.7 billion remitted by the oil firm into its CBN accounts was for dividends paid by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited.

It added that $1.786bn was from the operational activities of the national oil company, which recently transited into a limited liability company. In its reaction to the crash in the value of the naira against the United States dollar, the CBN had said the non-remittance of dollars by NNPC precipitated the forex crisis.

In a report entitled, “The forex question in Nigeria: Fact sheet,” the apex bank reportedly stated that there had been “zero-dollar remittance to the country’s foreign reserve by the NNPC.”

However, a document sighted in Abuja on Sunday asserted differently, claiming that the NNPC sent $2.7 billion to the CBN in the first six months of this year stating that $645 million was for dividends paid by NLNG, while $1.786 billion came from NNPC activities over the six months.

According to a breakdown of NNPC remittances, money into the oil firm’s CBN accounts included $18,770,418.97 in January, $194, 563, 276.49 in February, and $373, 232,875.20 in March. Other payments were $247,884,295.52 in April 2022, $591,565,425.41 in May, and $880,906,761.81 in June 2022.

When approached, the CBN declined to comment. Its spokeswoman, Osita Nwanisobi, did not return repeated phone calls. He also did not react to an SMS or a WhatsApp message.

The apex bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has been in the eye of the storm following the crash of the naira against the dollar. The local currency traded against the dollar at over N700/$ last week. On Wednesday, the Senate decided to invite Emefiele to explain why the naira had kept losing value and to proffer the way forward.

Following a motion sponsored by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, the Senate, apart from summoning Emefiele, also mandated its Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to critically look into the intervention funds CBN earmarked to support some sectors of the economy.

In his motion seeking Emefiele’s summoning, Adetumbi said the CBN’s earlier ban of forex sales to BDC operators caused a spike in the exchange rate. He said a few persons benefited from the import-export window meant to serve the forex needs of business enterprises. The CBN has blamed the rapid depreciation in the value of the naira on numerous factors.

In 2018, it blamed the forex crisis on the importation of items that should have been manufactured in Nigeria, leading to the ban of forex allocation for 41 items.

In 2021, the blame was shifted to bureau de change operators, who were accused of illegal forex trading. This year, the bank blamed the forex crisis on money laundering and the activities of those allegedly funding terrorism as well as politicians.

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