The Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Oluwole Oke has warned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to stop deducting from revenue from sales of petroleum products before remitting same to the Federation Account.
The Chairman gave the warning when the management of the NNPC appeared before his committee to defend a series of audit queries.
At its investigative hearing on audit queries issued by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation against ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government in Abuja on Thursday, threatened the NNPC with punitive action if such deduction was repeated.
The committee had summoned the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, as well as head of the corporation’s subsidiaries. One of the queries is alleging under remittance of revenue from domestic crude oil sales totalling N3.878tn.
The OAUGF issued another query against the NNPC bothering on the non-collection of miscellaneous gas receipts for some months in 2015, asking the corporation to refund N450bn to the Federation Account; another refund of N1.8tn as well as unpaid gas revenue without details worth $198,919,212.27 (N37,189,084,819.19).
Kyari is particularly expected to respond to the audit query on “payment through Nigeria Gas Limited Funding Account $30,963,894.01 (N16,099,887,119.77) as well as misapplication of Joint Venture Cash Calls for other purpose, $292,094,405.82 and N2,474,295,000.
The committee asked the corporation to account for unremitted gas revenue of about $228.9m and another N3.878tn from the sale of domestic crude.
The GMD of NNPC was represented by the Chief Financial Officer, Umar Ajiya; and the Group General Manager, Federations Accounts, Bello Abdullahi.
Oke said the law governing the operations of the NNPC should be amended to enable government make provision for the corporation to be entitled to an amount as collection fee, like the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Customs Service.
He also pointed out that deductions from source offended Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution which stipulates that all revenue collected by all generating agencies should be fully paid into the Federations Account.