Buhari govt accused of illegally diverting $1billion LNG fund
Lest we forget:
On 6th July 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sharing between the federal and 36 states governments, of $1.7billion of the $2billion balance in the Excess Crude Account.
After the amount — which is about N402 billion — is shared, just about $.3billion remained in the account which was created to help the two tiers of government to save for rainy days.
The president approved the sharing of revenue from the account after state governments approached him for bailout.
Besides the Excess Crude Account, the president also approved another relief package to end workers’ plight – the federal and state governments shared another $2.1 billion (about N497 billion) sourced from recent LNG dividends.
These were monies saved by the Goodluck Jonathan administration before handing over to Buhari in 2015.
Today, it has emerged that the Buhari administration illegally diverted more than $1billion NLNG divided to pay for fuel subsidy.
NAN reports that a member of FAAC, who chose not to be named, said Maikanti Baru, group managing director, NNPC, briefed the federal executive council before the Nigeria Liqueifed Natural Gas (NLNG) dividends was used for financing petrol subsidy.
Baru had explained that the corporation received a dividend payout of $1.05 billion as a major shareholder of the NLNG with 49 percent stake.
On Tuesday, the senate set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter.
According to documents published by Premium Times, the dividends were paid to the state oil firm during the fuel scarcity crisis that lasted between December 2017 and January 2018.
A source in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also told NAN that NNPC obtained $1.05 billion as a revolving loan, to pay for subsidy in 2018.
The senate has set up an ad hoc committee to probe the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) alleged diversion of dividends from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to fund petroleum subsidy.
The senate made this known after resuming plenary on Tuesday.
Senate president Bukola Saraki had vowed to investigate the alleged diversion, after Maikanti Baru, NNPC group managing director, said the funds were used to avert a crisis in the petroleum sector.
Bassey Akpan, a senator representing Akwa Ibom north-east, was said to have drawn the senate’s attention to a public outcry regarding the alleged diversion.
Premium Times had published documents of how the federal government allegedly diverted $1.05 billion to fund subsidy payment on petroleum products.
Akpan requested that the senate committee on gas probe the allegations.
“Senator Bassey Akpan cites Orders 43 & 95 and brings the attention of the Senate to various emails and complaints from the general public on the unauthorized withdrawal of $3.5 billion by NNPC from the NLNG Account.”