Senate orders probe of $18b NLNG dividend
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has sanctioned the hiring of eight field experts to undertake the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, who made the disclosure at the end of the 13th virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over yesterday by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, said N722.3 million had been approved for the assignment.
Briefing State House correspondents alongside his Information and Culture, and Water Resources counterparts, Lai Mohammed and Suleiman Adamu, the Akwa-Ibom ex-governor added that the auditors are to examine 12,000 abandoned projects.
The gathering also okayed a N101 million increase for the ongoing Ogbese dam project in Ekiti State.
Adamu said FEC equally approved his memo for “an extension of 24 months in favour of the consultant, Messrs. Geomatics Nig. Ltd.”
Prior to the commencement of meeting, President Buhari swore in 12 permanent secretaries.
The lucky technocrats included Belgore Lomido (Kwara); Akinlade Oluwatoyin (Kogi); Ekpa Anthonia Akpabio (Cross River); Alkali Bashir Nura (Kano); Ardo Babayo Kumo (Gombe); and Anyanwutaku Adaora lfeoma (Anambra).
The rest were Udoh Moniloja Omokunmi (Oyo); Hussaini Babangida (Jigawa); Mohammed Aliyu Ganda (Sokoto); Mahmuda Mamman (Yobe); Meribole Emmanuel Chukwuemeka (Abia); and Tarfa Yerima Peter (Adamawa).
He also inaugurated Idahagbon Henry and Usman Hassan as commissioners of the Federal Civil Service Commission and the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
MEANWHILE, the Senate has directed the Accountant General of the Federation (AuGF), Ahmed Idris, to investigate the payment of $18,323,032,261.03 as dividend for the nation’s investment in the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) between 2004 and 2020.
Chairman of its Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning that is currently considering the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), Solomon Adeola, gave the order yesterday in Abuja following disclosures from the NLNG authorities.
The Accountant General was mandated to find out if the amount was remitted to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and how much went to the Federation Account as well as deductions made, among others.
The General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Mrs. Eyono Fatai-William, had presented a financial statement of the firm from 1999 to 2019, where the figure was captured.
When the panel chair sought confirmation from the AuGF, he couldn’t, saying the payments were usually made first to NNPC, the country’s representative in the company.
He, therefore, directed Idris to look into the matter and report back in two weeks.