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NNPC Fraud: CBN Governor Sanusi To Proceed On Post-Retirement Leave In March.


CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
By SaharaReporters, New York

SaharaReporters has learnt that Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, will be forced to leave his post in March, 2014, two months before the formal expiration of his tenure. Two sources at the Presidency and a source at the Central Bank told SaharaReporters that Mr. Sanusi has been ordered to proceed on a post-retirement leave in March. All three sources concluded that the early exit for the CBN henchman was occasioned by Mr. Sanusi’s recent leaked letter to President Goodluck Jonathan detailing the theft of close to $50 billion in oil proceeds by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Last week, Mr. Sanusi revised the figure of missing funds down to $12 billion, but the damage to the Jonathan Presidency is considered massive.

SaharaReporters learnt that Mr. Jonathan has concluded plans to speedily replace the CBN governor whom the president believes set out to embarrass his government. “[President] Jonathan thinks that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has been making erratic pronouncements recently calculated to demean the office of the President,” said a source in the Presidency.

Presidency officials accused the CBN governor of leaking a private letter written to President Jonathan in which Nigeria’s chief banker complained about fraud perpetrated by officials of the NNPC and the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. Ms. Alison-Madueke is extremely close to the president and is believed to be the arrowhead of Mr. Jonathan’s corrupt schemes, especially in the oil sector.

One of the sources at the Presidency told SaharaReporters that, although Mr. Sanusi’s allegations were substantially accurate, the CBN governor was forced to back down from the more damaging aspects of his claims after the president’s associates threatened to make an issue of his reckless spending and philandering. “Once Sanusi found out that the Presidency was determined to deal with him, both through the media and by instigating the EFCC to look into his spending habits, he was willing to retreat and to accept an early departure,” said our source.

Shortly after the CBN governor was effectively blackmailed and brought under control, he appeared before the Nigerian Senate and reversed his position, claiming that the NNPC was only unable to reconcile $12 billion of crude oil sale earnings.

It was shortly after Mr. Sanusi’s Senate appearance that President Jonathan ordered that the CBN governor’s retirement should be fast-tracked. Mr. Sanusi, who is believed to nurse an ambition to become the next Emir of Kano, had publicly stated that he does not intend to stay for another term.

His term as Nigeria’s Central Bank governor is due to expire in May 2014.

NYM Calls For CBN Gov’s Resignation.


 

Sanusi-Lamido-Sanusi

Northern Youth Movement For Positive Change has call on the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to resign from his current position as the governor of the apex bank.The group made the call in a statement signed by its coordinator, Mr David Glavda, yesterday in Abuja, saying it is pertinent for Sanusi to resign due to his controversial report on the unremitted oil revenue by the NNPC.“Sanusi has casted a credibility question on himself and the institution he is representing, this presupposes that before he makes any public awareness, he must have evaluated it thoroughly in order not to put the economy in jeopardy or cause the confidence of foreign investors in our economy to be eroded,” the group said.“He has commented on practically everything under the sun, even on issues outside his purview. He certainly does not appreciate the enormity of responsibility bestowed and expected of his office.Sanusi Lamido Sanusi should have cross checked his facts before going public or even writing Mr. President, as the CBN governor,” the group added.It said that Sanusi had unlimited access to the top management of NNPC, adding that it was surprising that rather than double check his information with the relevant government  agencies, he chose to play to the gallery.

Source: Radio Biafra.
By: Murtala Adogi Mohammed

Nigeria “Money No Miss” By Prince Dickson.


By Prince Charles Dickson

‘The longest road you’re going to have to walk is from here to here.

Let me first issue a caveat, I am not a finance expert, an economist, or auditor, I am not a banker, I have not held the post of cashier, or treasurer. My mathematics is poor, but I know one plus one is equal to two. I also know money magic when I see one…and my admonition for this week is on some of the magic of money in 2013 in Nigeria.

But first let me tell us this story.

It’s a slow day in little Tensleep, Wyoming. The sun is beating down, and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit…

On this particular day a rich tourist from back east is driving through town. He stops at the motel and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

As soon as the man walks upstairs, the owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmer’s Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her “services” on credit.

The hooker (prostitute) rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel owner.

The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the rich traveler will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, picks up the $100 bill, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything.

However, the whole town is now out of debt and now looks to the future with a lot more optimism.

Madam Coordinating Minister for Economic Planning and Finance and de facto president Ngozi Iweala presented some N4.6trillion as budget for 2014 last week. And again as she spoke of job creation, agriculture, housing and had smiles–we look to 2014 with optimism?

That she presented it on behalf of the president is no news, or that there was another hassle before the National Assembly agreed on the oil benchmark for it, is not information to most of us.

That in my generation I am seeing trillions expended, is a little news, I never thought it did be this soon. Add that to the fact that the budget proper would pass somewhere in march/april and disbursement around may/june is now the norm.

This year some parastatals got their budget for this year, in October, some, only last month, and then others still waiting. Don’t ask me how they ran their operations–whichever way, money no miss.

After the initial $49.8 billion alleged missing, Sanusi the CBN chief said he erred, only $12billion was found to have been a ‘shortfall’ in the oil fund remittance. Ngozi Iweala says it is ‘only’ $10.8billion that was yet to be ‘reconciled’. So $1.2billion is the ‘outstanding’, money no miss.

Do we remember the N58billion that was hidden funds diverted by MDAs. Monies that was supposed to be paid into the consolidated revenue fund. It was diverted and hidden, money no miss.

Only few weeks back, between the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Labaran Maku N100.561billion could not be accounted for. Money no miss.

In fact accountants at the Ministry for Information say they have no records for N4.6billion vote. Records maybe missing, but money no miss.

How about the SURE-P N500billion that went ‘awol’ according to Senate. Well the Senate couldn’t find it, but money no miss.

Have you seen the 50 questions on our economy that Ngozi must answer according to the House of Rep. Member, it is the same questions she’s answered one way or the other, somewhere, at some point. The monies have been shared–money no miss.

The point of my admonition is we cannot afford to be on the same track, where several millions, billions just disappear. Where monies are dispensed and there’s nothing to show for.

In 2013, billions were shared via the federation account and very little to show in development. A small community has a councillor, chairman,  a state legislator, a governor, a senator, a representative, and the president, in some cases, this community may have the honour or a minister for water resources as their daughter. Yet for all the billions, the community has no portable water. Well, they are not complaining, so like Fela put it…money no miss.

We need to get over the Nigeria is broke, Mr. President rang the bell at the New York Exchange argument. All the EFCC is broke, we are not broke stories need to be sorted out.

The strange cases of local government workers’ salaries being owed for months, same as teachers must be treated.

Nigerians need to get tired of seeing their monies in luxury cars and homes, and lifestyles of those who claim to be their leaders. While millions can’t be put in healthcare or for doctors and nurses.

Gov. Rotimi Amaechi could not have put it better, “we steal because people don’t stone us”. I dare add, they steal because we don’t notice that money is missing.

I have purposely left out the millions missing in virtually every state, including Amaechi’s state. I have not touched the pension billions, or the constituency project fraud–allowances, per diems and more that no one has records of. Simply because when the traveler comes down the stairs, picks up the $100 bill, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything, its just from here to here, but for how long we will pretend that money no miss–only time will tell.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

AMCON Set To Redeem N1Trn Bonds But Critics Say AMCON Remains A Drainpipe.


CBN Gov. Lamido Sanusi Lamido and Mustafa Chike-Obi- Managing Director/CEO, AMCON
By SaharaReporters, New York

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, says the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) is set to pay-off N1 trillion of the entire series 1, 2, 3, and 4 bonds held outside of the CBN, on December 30.

According to him, the CBN is already in custody of the said N1 trillion and all those who own a stake in the said series will be paid either by cash or Treasury Bills.

Mr. Sanusi made the declaration in Abuja today during the signing of an agreement between the apex bank and AMCON on the financing of N3.8 trillion worth of bonds over a period of 10 years.

The CBN governor also disclosed that by October 2014, AMCON would have written off another N1 trillion worth of bonds, thus making the CBN the only creditor of AMCON. This, he noted, is a credit positive for Nigeria.

Prior to signing the agreement, which he said was the outcome of bilateral negotiations between the two bodies, Mr. Sanusi gave a background to the establishment of AMCON in 2010, stating that the corporation was instrumental to addressing the banking crisis brewing in Nigeria at the time.

“Without AMCON, we would never have been able to resolve the financial crisis,” he stated.

He therefore expressed appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan; his predecessor, the late Umaru Yar’Adua; the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and her predecessors, Olusegun Aganga and Mansur Muhtar; as well as other financial advisers, for their cooperation and the roles they played in the establishment and operation of the AMCON project.

Sanusi noted that CBN was aware of the concerns by the Federal Ministry of Finance that the amounts involved in the AMCON project could end up on Government’s balance sheet. He, however, assured that the apex Bank, AMCON and financial institutions were working hard to protect the Government’s balance sheet.

Sanusi also expressed optimism that the collaboration between the Bank and the Federal Ministry of Finance will continue to yield fruitful results.

While thanking the National Assembly for its support in ensuring the passage of the AMCON Bill into law in July 2010, he appealed to the legislators to finalize work on the AMCON Amendment Bill in order to put the agreements reached on AMCON on a firm legal footing.

He equally commended the management team of AMCON, which he described as the best brains put together by he and Mr. Aganga.

The highpoint of the ceremony was the signing of the agreement between the CBN and AMCON.  Mr. Sanusi signed for the CBN while Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, signed for the company.

Despite Mr. Sanusi’s optimism today, AMCON has been serially accused of bailing out economic criminals by accepting assets or collaterals that are well below the values of their debts.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also recently recommended that AMCON be scrapped because of the massive corruption perpetrated by the agency.

NNPC snipes CBN over alleged missing $49.8bn.


NNPC CBN

The spat over an alleged missing oil revenue worsened on Friday as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) accused the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, of playing politics with oil revenue, emphasising that no $49.8 billion is missing.The corporation has also clarified that the shortfall admitted at the Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting referred to monthly crude returns rather than the issue of missing money the CBN alleged.Addressing a world press conference in Abuja, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu, said Sanusi was playing politics over oil revenue accounts which the CBN on a monthly basis reconciled alongside other agencies like revenue service and petroleum resources department.Expressing surprise at the refusal of the CBN governor to retract the allegation, Yakubu said “if not for politics, there is no reason for the allegation on a matter in which CBN and other agencies sit monthly and on which the bank has never raised any objections.”Yakubu posited that the process for revenue remittance was clear and that the NNPC was not in the business of withholding any crude oil receipts due the Federation Account or any other statutory remittances.“All NNPC crude oil liftings is made up of the following: equity crude; royalty oil; tax oil; volume for third party financing and NPDC equity volume. Proceeds from equity crude was paid to Department of Petroleum Resources, (DPR); the proceeds from tax oil or petroleum profit Tax lifted by NNPC is paid directly into the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),” the GMD said.Noting that the three accounts are domiciled with the CBN, Yakubu explained that NNPC is by statutory requirement responsible for direct remittances of only one stream of liftings, namely equity crude minus other streams which are the responsibilities of DPR and FIRS.

“The CBN letter claims that for the period 1st January 2012 to 31st July 2013, national crude oil liftings was 1.287 billion barrels. Our records show that the total national crude oil lifting for the same period was actually higher at 1.330 billion barrels. Furthermore, total NNPC liftings during the same period were again higher at 618.552 million barrels as against the 594.024 million barrels stated by CBN,” the NNPC boss said.“We further wish to state that the proceeds from the total NNPC liftings comprising federation equity, royalty oil, tax oil, volume for third party finance and NPDC equity amount to USS67.12 billion as against the $65.33bn that the CBN stated,” he said, adding that “NNPC remitted its portion which is $1b.48bn (27.5 per cent) into the Federation Account being the total proceeds from equity crude and gas sales of which CBN acknowledged receipt of $15.528bn (24 per cent).On the issue of $49.8 billion or 76 per cent of total national liftings and the alleged unremitted funds, Yakubu said that this represents the balance of other streams as stated above which he said are remitted to the various agencies which are statutorily empowered to collect and remit same into the Federation Account.On the allegation that the NNPC owes the Federal Government another $22 billion in unpaid levies to the National Export Supervisory Scheme (NESS), Yakubu noted that “the levies under the NESS are paid to third party inspectors based on services  rendered to the Federal Government.“The current position is that NNPC has paid a total of $114.78 million from inception of NESS in 2009 up to October 2013 as against the total budget of $117.08 million for the same period. These payments have been reconciled with the CBN,” he said.In a related development, the Chairman, Finance Commissioners Forum, Mr Timothy Odah, said the NNPC accepted that it owed the Federation Account.Odah, the Commissioner for Finance in Ebonyi State, made the revelation in Abuja when he briefed newsmen on the outcome of Friday’s monthly Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.He said the NNPC representative at the meeting admitted that the organisation owed the federation and acknowledged not remitting the exact amount it generated.The governor of CBN wrote a letter to the president, that NNPC failed to remit $49.8 billion to the Federation Account between 2012 to date.Odah, however, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the actual amount of its indebtedness would be determined at the next FAAC meeting.“The NNPC has admitted that truly they owe the Federation Account and by that information, we referred the deliberation on the figure of what they say they owe to the next FAAC meeting.“This is so that the technical committee will be able to examine NNPC accounts before we will be able to publicise or accept the figure they have quoted,” he said.Odah said the NNPC’s acknowledgment of its indebtedness to the Federation Account over revenue it had failed to remit was “important” and described it as a welcome development.“You know previously that it has always been a matter of controversy.“They say they don’t owe and sometimes they will say that it is the Federation Account that owes them, but this time they have accepted that they owe.“Although, the difference between what we claim they owe and what they claim they owe is very marginal,” he said.Odah also said the FAAC technical sub-committee would begin to work on measures to further scrutinise remittances by the NNPC in order to avoid such occurrences in future.

Source: Radio Biafra.

State Within The State: NNPC As A Metaphor For Impunity By Jaye Gaskia.


All through its history, and throughout all the metamorphosis that it has undergone, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] has been a very special, secretive, and opaque golden goose laying the treasured eggs that has oiled successive regimes, and driven the competitive primitive accumulation of capital by Nigeria’s inept, but kleptomaniac ruling class!

But perhaps at no other time in our collective history as a nation, nor in its own specific history has the corporation become as far elevated above the legal, legitimate, constitutional, as it has become in recent years. The NNPC has become such a behemoth, not because of the size of its stock, the reach of its global economic or business domination; but entirely because of its transformation into an effective organised crime enterprise and empire; one within which there is diplomatic immunity for any type of economic criminality and a safe space for the most unthinkable breach of the constitution; as long as the Emperor sitting at the top of the dynastic sleaze and his court are being adequately serviced with the spoils of the monumental pillage of our collective wealth.

The latest in the long list of historic and historical heists perpetrated and perpetuated through the NNPC by any reigning emperor and his court is around the allegation of non remittance of statutory revenue generated through activities of the NNPC into the Federation account! No less an institution than the CBN, through the unusual step of a letter directly addressed to the President is the source of the current allegation. From the CBN, it has been revealed that over a period of 18 months alone [Jan 2012 to July 2013], the NNPC failed to remit a whooping N8tn into the Federation account from the sale of crude oil alone over that period. The NNPC has come out to once again, and as it has become traditional for it, to vociferously deny any such allegations; each time always finding esoteric but spurious explanations for its central role in the grand looting of our treasury!

It must be said at this point that the NNPC is not alone in this institutionalized architecture for grievous, but also serial violation and breach of the constitutionally enacted laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

Early in 2013 we found out through the National Assembly [NASS] that more than 100 MDAs regularly either fail to remit revenue generated to the Federation account, or grossly under report their earnings in order to get away with remittance of only insignificant fractions of the revenue they have generated; in very clear breach of relevant laws. Additionally nearly 200 MDAs regularly fail to file their financial statements with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation!

So as we can see, the NNPC is not the only culprit, but given that it is the golden goose that lays the golden egg, it is by the most significant culprit of this criminality; and by any stretch of the imagination also the agency with the most blatant disregard for constitutionalism in our land.

At other times in the recent past, the NNPC has been implicated in an historically long list of criminal pillages, and the most profound and intense looting of our collective wealth. Every single audit of the NEITI process has directly implicated the corporation in criminal activities including failure to remit appropriate taxes on its activities, as well as the gross under remittance of earned incomes!

In 2012 in the immediate aftermath of the January Uprising, and again in early 2013, it was severally revealed through various probes and investigative panel reports that the NNPC’s utilization of the 445,000 barrels of crude concessionary allocated to it for domestic refining is shrouded in mystery, given that according to its and the government’s own claims the domestic refineries have never operated at more than 50% of installed capacity! Nevertheless the NNPC continues to enjoy this concessionary allocation in totality! Furthermore, the NNPC, it was revealed, regularly deducts money from its revenue before remitting the balance, for fuel subsidy claims that it pays to itself, as well as for fuel subsidy on fuel ostensibly refined at its subsidiaries, the domestic refineries! Let us take a look at one instance early in 2013: The NNPC claimed that its subsidiaries, the refineries were now refining a combined 10 million litres of petrol per day; yet the PPPRA claimed to have no knowledge of the existence nor receipt of these daily quantum of refined fuel,; nor was it aware that this quantity of fuel  refined domestically was in anyway being utilized within the nation’s borders!

Yet in spite of this outlandish claim by the NNPC, denied by the PPPRA, the Federal Ministry of Finance reports that we have curtailed fraudulent importation of refined fuel by bringing down the daily consumption rate of petrol from the unprecedented and criminally inflated high of the 60 million litres per day in 2011 to an average of 40 million litres per day in 2012 and 38 million litres per day in 2013. The question to ask is where is NNPC’s phantom 10 million litres per day production of refined petrol? And a further question to ask? What is the current average level of capacity utilization of the four moribund domestic refineries? Whatever the percentage or figure is; 40%, 50%, or 60%, what in quantitative terms does this translate into with respect to daily production rate of petrol? Where is this daily quantity utilized? What impact has it had on reducing the daily quantity of imported refined petrol?

Now let us leave the realm of the seemingly legal or illegal for a moment, and explore the world of the extralegal , the context of organized crime corporations. Under the watchful gaze of the NNPC, we witnessed and continue to witness not only the unprecedented spike in the illegal fuel subsidy theft regime from the average of roughly N500bn per annum to the astronomical figure of N2.7tn in 2011; but we have also witnessed, and continue to witness the equally epochal spike in the quantum and scale of crude oil theft, as well as the consequential damage to the environment. So from a daily crude oil theft rate of 50,000 to 100,000 barrels per day of crude oil, we have now reached the Olympian heights where the daily theft rate hovers around 400,000 barrels of crude per day; And this only since the outsourcing  of Oil Pipeline surveillance and Maritime security, through juicy contracts annually worth over N30bn to armed merchants who just recently masqueraded as ‘armed militants’ with a cause!

And what has been the unacknowledged implication of this grand theft, protected and promoted, it seems by certain institutions of the state as well as certain very highly located personnel [elected and appointed] of the state? The loss of between $14bn and $18bn in annual revenue to crude oil thieves and their protected organized crime syndicates; But also a colossal and sustained devastation of the environment arising from the equivalent of a daily crude oil spillage rate of 40,000 barrels of crude per day, if we estimate a 10% rate of oil spillage from the grand daily crude oil theft rate of 400,000 barrels per day given the circumstances under which the theft is taking place!

So where has all of this left us? It has brought us to this historic juncture where the scale and scope of corruption has become such that it has become like an albatross weighing down and round the neck of our national economy; and impeding our national development, making it nearly impossible to undertake any sustained process towards combating the poverty and misery that have become the lived reality of more than 112 million Nigerians. It is why infrastructures cannot be built, why basic services cannot be provided, why we have an 18 million housing unit deficit, why unemployment grew from 8% to 24%, and youth unemployment to 50% in a period of 10 years.

What is the annual budget of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture [Less than N90bn] for example? What is the annual budget of Ekiti, or Osun, or Taraba, or Cross River states for example? Less than N120bn! Yet by some calculations, we lost N5.2tn to corruption and leakages in just 2 years [June 2010 to July 2012]; that is at an average Monthly Theft Rate of just over N220bn! This monthly theft rate is more than twice the grossly inflated contract for the Lokoja – Abuja Expressway construction; it is more than the N200bn deposit paid by the FGN as first installment for infrastructural overhaul of public universities!

The N8tn that is the subject of the claims and counter claims between the NNPC and CBN, both agencies of the same Federal Government; will cover for at least 7 annual Capital Votes of the annual Federal Budget; that is 7 years worth of public investment in infrastructural development!

What manner of blind, visionless, greedy, self-centered, and ruinously gluttonous ruling class is this? We continue to permit the overlordship of the treacherous, light fingered, and inept thieving treasury looting ruling class, only to our peril!

The Time To Act In Our Own Interests Is Now; Not Tomorrow, Not Next Year, Not during the 2015 General Elections; for at the precipitous rate at which this ruling class is steering our ship of state; it is debatable if our society can survive their calamitous greed!

It is our Country, Let Us Take Concrete and Immediate Steps To Take It Back From their Death Grip!

Follow me on Twitter: @jayegaskia & @[DPSR]protesttopower; Interact with me on FaceBook: Jaye Gaskia & Take Back Nigeria.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

CBN breaks silence on alleged missing N22B oil revenue, warns against politicization.


 

Sanusi-Lamido-Sanusi

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) this afternoon broke its silence on the letter allegedly written by its Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to President Goodluck Jonathan on September 25, accusing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of failing to account for N22 billion out of revenue from crude oil sales between January 2012 and July 2013.

The apex bank in a statement issued in Abuja by its Director, Corporate Communications, Ugochukwu A. Okoroafor, neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the said letter but advised against the politicization of the issue. Below is the text of the statement:

“The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to an emerging public discourse around a letter purportedly written by the Governor to His Excellency

the President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, expressing concerns over non-remittance of oil revenues by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“The Central Bank of Nigeria will neither confirm nor deny the existence of such a letter and considers any discussion by it on the allegation to be inappropriate.

“However, to the extent that the matter is gathering momentum in the public space, and seems to be assuming a highly politicised dimension, the Bank wishes to issue the following clarifications:

“1. The CBN is statutorily mandated to establish price stability, protect the external value of our national currency, manage the external reserve of the Federation and ensure the smooth functioning of our financial system as well as adviser to the President on economic matters.

“2. The capacity of the Bank to perform its role effectively is strengthened or undermined by the extent to which the nation is able to increase foreign exchange earnings and savings from these earnings, thus boosting the Excess Crude Savings Account, raising reserve levels, providing currency stability and moderating interest rates with limited risks to inflation and financial stability.

“3. In the performance of this role it is natural for the CBN to be concerned at the low level of accretion to reserves and the Excess Crude Account, in spite of strong international oil prices, especially as Nigeria’s performance is compared with other oil producing economies.

“4. The Central Bank of Nigeria is aware that this concern is shared by Mr. President, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Ministers, State Governors, legislators, economists, analysts and all stakeholders involved in managing the economy and discussions on how to address the matter are being held at the highest levels of Government.

“5. The CBN is aware that, on the instruction of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, the audit firm, PwC has been directed to audit the revenues of the NNPC.

“6. The CBN is also aware of a proposal to set up a technical team made up of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the NNPC and the CBN to examine sources of any revenue leakages and propose appropriate fiscal controls.

“7. The CBN welcomes these initiatives and believes that they represent a positive contribution to the process of improving the management of the economy, especially if they lead to greater oversight of the Finance Ministry over oil revenues and improvements in disclosure and transparency in the Oil Industry.

“8. The Central Bank of Nigeria recognizes that there is an urgent need to review fiscal terms of sharing revenues between the Federal Government and oil companies and to improve governance and transparency in the official oil sector. This underscores the need to urgently pass a Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that addresses fiscal terms and the structure of the NNPC. We therefore support the effort of the Federal Government to pass a new PIB.

“9. The CBN will continue to use appropriate channels of communication in these matters and hereby assures all stakeholders in the country, of its continued support in all efforts aimed at strengthening the Nigerian economy and reducing its vulnerability to shocks from the external sector.

“10. The Central Bank of Nigeria will not issue further statements on this matter and urges the general public to avoid unnecessary politicization of a technical matter while awaiting the outcome of on-going consultation and reviews.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

NNPC’s Missing $49.8 billion: CBN Stands By Its Allegation, Says President Jonathan Shares The Bank’s “Concerns”.


CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
By SaharaReporters, New York

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said today it would neither confirm nor deny a widely-circulated letter sent to President Goodluck Jonathan by its governor, in which he scandalously revealed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Resources has between 2012 and 2013 failed to remit nearly $50 billion into the Federation Account.

In a press statement by the bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Ugochukwu Okoroafor, the bank said it considered any discussion of the alleged letter to be inappropriate.

Despite that, the CBN, citing a “gathering momentum in the public space,” and the fact the matter seems to be assuming a highly-politicized dimension, offered 10 “clarifications.”

Among them, the it stressed that in the performance of its,  role it is natural  for the CBN to be concerned  at the low level of accretion  to reserves and the Excess Crude Account, despite strong  international oil prices, especially as  Nigeria’s   performance  is  compared   with  other   oil  producing economies.

This amounts to a reiteration of the bank governor’s reason for writing the letter to President Jonathan in the first place, and that  the NNPC stands guilty as charged.

The CBN also took the opportunity to restate its support of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

“The  Central   Bank   of  Nigeria   recognizes   that   there   is  an urgent need  to  review  fiscal  terms  of  sharing  revenues  between the  Federal Government and oil companies  and to  improve governance and transparency in the official  oil sector,” the statement said.  “This underscores the  need  to  urgently pass a Petroleum  Industry Bill (PIB)  that  addresses  fiscal  terms  and the  structure of the  NNPC. We therefore support the  effort of  the  Federal  Government to pass a new PIB.”

In our original story dated December 9, 2013, SaharaReporters reported that in the letter, which CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi  hand-delivered to President Jonathan in September, he lamented the continuing failure of the NNPC to honor its legal obligations to the country, including failure to remit $49.8 billion to the Federation Account between 2012 and 2013, representing 76% of the value of crude oil liftings during that period.

He wrote: “Our analysis of the value of crude oil export proceeds based on the documentation received from pre-shipment inspectors shows that between January 2012 and July 2013, NNPC lifted 594,024,107 barrels of crude valued at $65,332,350,514.57.  Out of this amount, NNPC repatriated only $15,528,410,098.77 representing 24% of the value.  This means the NNPC is yet to account for, and repatriate to the Federation Account, an amount in excess of $49.804 billion of the value of oil lifted in the same period.”
Full text of the press statement:

CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
The attention of the Central  Bank of Nigeria  has been drawn  to an emerging public  discourse  around  a letter purportedly written by the  Governor  to   His  Excellency   the   President   of  the   Federal Republic     of    Nigeria,   Dr.    Goodluck    Ebele   Jonathan,    GCFR, expressing concerns  over non-remittance of oil revenues  by the Nigerian National  Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The  Central   Bank  of  Nigeria   will  neither confirm nor  deny  the existence of  such  a letter and  considers  any  discussion  by  it on the alleged  letter to be inappropriate.

However, to the extent that  the matter is gathering momentum in the public space, and seems to be assuming a highly  politicized dimension, the Bank wishes to issue the following clarifications:

1.    The CBN is statutorily mandated to  establish  price  stability, protect the  external value  of our  national currency, manage  the external reserves  of the  Federation and ensure  the smooth functioning  of  our   financial   system, as  well   as  adviser   to  the President  on economic  matters.

2. The capacity  of the Bank to perform its role effectively is strengthened or undermined by the  extent to  which  the  nation  is able   to   increase   foreign   exchange   earnings  and  savings   from these  earnings, thus  boosting  the Excess Crude  Savings  Account, raising  reserve levels, providing currency  stability and moderating interest rates  with  limited risks to inflation and financial  stability.

3. In the performance of this  role it is natural  for the CBN to be concerned  at the low level of accretion  to reserves and the Excess Crude Account, inspite  of strong  international oil prices, especially as  Nigeria’s   performance  is  compared   with  other   oil  producing economies.

4. The  Central   Bank  of  Nigeria  is  aware  that   this  concern  is shared by   Mr.  President,  the     Federal     Ministry     of    Finance, Ministers, State  Governors, legislators, economists, analysts  and all  stakeholders involved in managing the  economy and discussions on how to  address the    matter are  being  held  at highest  levels of Government.

5. The CBN is aware  that, on the  instruction of the  Honourable Minister   of  Petroleum Resources,  the  audit  firm, PWC has  been directed to audit  the revenues  of the NNPC.

6. The  CBN is  also  aware  of  a proposal  to  set  up  a technical team  made  up of representatives the  Federal Ministry of Finance, the  NNPC and  the  CBN to  examine  the  sources  of  any  revenue leakages  and propose  appropriate fiscal controls.

7. The CBN welcomes  these initiatives and believes  that  they represent a positive contribution to  the  process  of improving the management of  the  economy, especially  if  they  lead  to  greater oversight      of   the    Finance    Ministry    over    oil revenues and improvements in disclosure  and transparency in the Oil Industry.

8. The  Central   Bank   of  Nigeria   recognizes   that   there   is  an urgent need  to  review  fiscal  terms  of  sharing  revenues  between the  Federal Government and oil companies  and to  improve governance and transparency in the official  oil sector.    This underscores the  need  to  urgently pass a Petroleum  Industry Bill (PIB)  that  addresses  fiscal  terms  and the  structure of the  NNPC. We  therefore  support the  effort of  the  Federal  Government to pass a new PIB.

9.   The CBN will continue to use appropriate channels of communication  in  these   matters and  hereby  assures  all stakeholders in the  country, of its continued support in all efforts aimed  at  strengthening the  Nigerian   economy   and  reducing   its vulnerability to shocks from  the external sector.

10.   The Central  Bank of Nigeria  will not issue further statements on this  matter and urges  the  general  public  to avoid  unnecessary politicization of  a technical matter while  awaiting the  outcome  of on-going consultation and reviews.

Ugochukwu Okoroafor,
Director, Corporate Communications

Jonathan, Alison-Madueke, Okonjo-Iweala Involved In NNPC Diversion Of $50 Billion Crude Oil Funds-PREMIUM TIMES.


By Ini Ekott and Bassey udo

President Goodluck Jonathan and two of his top ministers may be attempting a cover-up on what clearly competes as Nigeria’s biggest fraud ever, involving the illegal diversion, or theft, of over N8 trillion crude oil sales proceeds.

In a frantic and unusual memo to the president on September 25, 2013, Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi detailed how government-owned oil firm, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had systematically diverted the huge sum, being sales proceeds between January 2012 and July 2013.

The CBN governor said for all crude oil sales within the period, the NNPC paid only 24 percent proceeds into the federation account, and diverted or stole the remaining 76 percent-totalling N8 trillion.

As the CBN calculated, the NNPC sold at least 594 million barrels of oil within the period, and should have paid N10.3 trillion (USD65.3 billion) into the federation account. But the corporation paid only N2.5 trillion (USD15.5 billion), Mr. Sanusi said, citing documentation from pre-shipment inspectors.

The whereabouts of the huge balance is unknown.

The weight of the differential is clearer if evaluated against the fact that the tiny percentage remitted by the NNPC managed to finance the nation in that period, raising the question of how much the total would then have achieved for a country unable to pay its university lecturers who have been on strike for five months.

Put simply, for each barrel of oil sold, say at an average of USD100, the NNPC illegally cornered $74 into an unknown account and gave Nigeria only $26.

Mr. Sanusi said he was “constrained” to hint the president after observing the huge shortfalls for years. He accused the NNPC of breaching two key federal laws, and urged the president to act expeditiously by ordering sweeping investigation and prosecution of those found culpable.

Two months on, the president has refused to act on the damning memo delivered to him personally by the CBN governor. In fact, after receiving the letter, the president, presidency sources say, questioned Mr. Sanusi on why such letter should be prepared in the first place and sent to him.

PREMIUM TIMES can also confirm that finance minister and former World Bank chief, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is also aware of the CBN’s information and has done nothing about it; while petroleum minister, Alison Diezani-Madueke, implicated in several corruption probes in the past, is said to be fully in the know about the massive plunder of crude oil money by the NNPC.

President challenged on corruption

Details of the president’s failure to act on such a massive scale of misappropriation came amid an increasing criticism of Mr. Jonathan’s response to corruption, as several senior officials of his government, accused of stealing or wasting public funds, have been spared of indictment and prosecution.

The weightiest of such concerns came on Monday from the speaker of the House of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who publicly accused the president of consistently displaying a “body language” that encourages corruption.

Citing past scandals, the most recent being the N255 million armoured car fraud involving aviation minister, Stella Oduah, Mr. Tambuwal said the president’s penchant for duplicating committees to investigate corruption cases, rather than directing law enforcement agencies to probe them, showed Mr. Jonathan was less committed to curbing fraud.

“By the action of setting up different committees for straightforward cases, the president’s body language doesn’t tend to support the fight against corruption,” the speaker said at an event in Abuja.

Between 2011 and 2013, the House of Representatives has investigated the NNPC multiple times, and has in many cases found officials of the corporation wanting. But no one has been sanctioned by government.

In 2012, top management of the NNPC and the petroleum minister, Mrs. Madueke, who directly supervises the NNPC, were recommended for prosecution by the House in a shocking fuel subsidy probe. They accused officials have remained at their posts.

The CBN’s allegation is the most scathing yet for a corporation notorious for secrecy and corruption.

The diverted or stolen amount-N8 trillion between January 2012 and July 2013- is the nearly the equivalent of the total federal budgets for two years.

Put together, the sum can run the entire country for the period, build several new roads and railways, pay wages of millions of workers, cater for the nation’s teeming unemployed, build thousands of hospitals and schools, complete ongoing power projects, and on an urgent note, clear multiple times, all government financial obligations to university lecturers, whose ongoing strike has kept the universities shut for more than five months now.

More losses and the ECA

Even so, when compared with prevailing data from different government agencies, the figure admitted by the CBN is still lesser than what Nigeria should earn from oil sales.

While the bank said its computation, based on pre-shipment details, showed that Nigeria sold N10.3 trillion worth of oil in 19 months, PREMIUM TIMES’ analysis shows the government should rather realize N10.6 trillion in the first 10 months of 2013-Janaury to October-alone.

PREMIUM TIMES’s estimates is based on the government’s data of  daily production average of 2.11 million barrels of crude, sold at an average price of $105.84 per barrel.

If multiplied and converted to naira, the government should have realized N10. 6 trillion in 10 months alone.

But in that period, total oil receipts data provided by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, claimed between January and October, the government made N5.8 trillion.

Also, our estimates show that the government has not only lied or misled Nigerians about its total receipts from oil sales, but is also deceitful about its earnings in the contentious Excess Crude Account.

The ECA holds the difference between the real market price for oil and the government’s projection in the national budget yearly.

For 2013, the government approved rate is $79 per barrel (called benchmark for oil price), meaning any raise in price at the international marker, will go into the ECA.

For most of the year, oil sold as much as $112 and $114 per barrel. At a conservative rate of $105 per barrel, the government should have realized $26 as difference per barrel for the Excess Crude Account.

Calculated at 2.11 million barrels per day, that should amount to $17.3 billion (about N2.695trillion) earned as excess crude revenue from crude oil exports as of October 2013.

But the government claims it generated only N986.6 billion in the Excess Crude Account.

No explanation

No government official could explain the huge gaps for the 2013 figures. The ministry of finance did not comment when contacted multiple times. Paul Nwabuiku, a spokesperson for the finance minister, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, promised a response but refused to give one several days after.

A spokesperson for the Central Bank of Nigeria, reacting to our findings (not Mr. Sanusi’s letter) said as the government’s banker, it could not provide the requested information, as it was unlawful for a banker to divulge details about its customer to a third party.

“We maintain a customer/banker relationship with the government in the execution of our mandate. We do not divulge such information to third parties,” Mr. Ugochukwu said on Thursday via a text message.

Controversy over Excess Crude Account

PREMIUM TIMES’s own evaluation of government oil earnings began well ahead of obtaining Mr. Sanusi’s letter to President Jonathan.

The review was prompted by the lingering controversy over the ECA between the finance minister, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala and the Rivers state governor, Chibuike Amaechi.

Mr. Amaechi had accused the government of depleting the account, usually shared between the federal, states and local governments.

The governor said $5 billion had gone missing from the account under Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala’s watch.

Defending the administration, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala accused the governor of “playing politics” on the matter, and said the outstanding $5 billion had been shared to states as monthly allocation and local governments, with Rivers State being one of the major beneficiaries.

The frustration of CBN governor

But in his letter, Mr. Sanusi said he had long been frustrated by the NNPC’s secrecy with oil sales, and that he raised concerns twice to the president as far back as 2010 about his observation that a huge chunk of sales proceeds were not remitted to government treasury.

He said the shortfall in revenue as a result of oil theft and vandalism in the Niger Delta was insignificant compared to the scale of money unaccounted for by the NNPC.

“Your excellency, you will recall that as far back as late 2010, I had verbally expressed deep concern about what appeared to be huge shortfalls in remittances to the federation account in spite of the strong recovery in oil prices,” the CBN governor wrote, indicating the losses extending years back far surpasses the N8 trillion of between 2012 and 2013.

There is no evidence the president acted on those concerns.

By 2012, he said the situation had gone worse that the government made more money from tax paid by oil companies than from actual sales of crude.

“This means, Your Excellency, that in this first seven months of the year, taxes accounted for 76 % of the total inflow from this sector, while NNPC crude oil proceeds accounted for 24%,” he said.

The CBN governor called for a thorough audit of all domiciliary accounts held by the NNPC outside of the CBN, and a probe of companies involved in oil lifting and oil swap.

“As banker to the federal government and Economic Adviser to the President,” he said, “I am obliged to draw the president’s attention to these serious issues of which you have most probably never been aware in this detail,” he said.

The Special Adviser to the President on Public Communications, Reuben Abati, was not available for comments. He did not answer several calls made to his telephone. He is believed to be travelling in South Africa with the president, who is attending the funeral of late South African President, Nelson Mandela.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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