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NNPC Reacts To Allegations Of Operating Secret Accounts

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has denied allegations that it is operating secret accounts. The state-owned oil company claimed that it does not operate a secret account through its upstream arm known as the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS). The reaction came in response to reports that the House of Representatives committee, which had been looking into all joint venture operations and production-sharing arrangements in the oil and gas sector since 1990, had allegedly discovered hidden accounts belonging to the NNPC.

This information was revealed in a statement sent out by Garba Deen Muhammad, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, and also posted to the oil company’s official Twitter account. Muhammad in the statement said that joint venture cash call accounts denominated in US dollars and Nigerian Naira are all domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

The Joint Venture Cash Call (JVCC) NGN and USD Accounts were created to cater for the funding of cash calls for the various Joint Ventures managed by NNPCL on behalf of the federal government.

Joint Venture Proceeds Accounts were opened for the individual JVs to implement the Self-Funding Strategy, which aims at making the JVs to be self-reliant.

In a further clarification, NNPC said: “The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) is fully aware of the JVCC accounts as the OAGF regularly sanctions and approves the updates/change of signatories to the accounts. NNPC has documents where these correspondences with the OAGF were acknowledged.”

Annual audits of the NNPC/NAPIMS books of accounts for the Federation’s upstream petroleum operations are performed by independent external auditors.

It further stated that periodic (yearly) audits of the NNPC/NAPIMS operations are carried out by the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation. Additionally, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) audits the NNPC/NAPIMS activities on an annual basis.

“Thus, with such multiple layers of checks and balances, it is impossible for the NNPCL to operate secret accounts until the ad hoc Committee, with due respect to its competencies, discovers it. If such a “secret account” does exist, then the NNPCL certainly is not aware of, and has absolutely nothing to do with it,” NNPC noted. There have been concerns about the NNPC operating a secret account which has casted doubts over the organization’s transparency. The statement from the NNPC serves to refute such claims. The statement does not indicate any interference in the prices of AGO/MGO

Source:  Nairametrics, AllAfrica

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