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Reps Probe Alleged Withdrawal of $1.5 from NLNG Account

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House of Representatives has resolved to investigate alleged illegal withdrawal of a sum of $1.05 billion from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) account by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The move followed a unanimous adoption of a motion by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), at plenary on Tuesday. Moving the motion, Elumelu recalled that the NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989, with the aim of producing liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export purpose which commenced in 1999.

The NLNG, he noted, is jointly owned by the Government of Nigeria, represented by the NNPC with a shareholding of 49 per cent; Shell Gas holding a share of 25.6 per cent, Total LNG Nigeria Ltd – 15 per cent, and ENI International 10.4 per cent.

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Gbajabiamila, Speaker House of Representatives

“The dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Funds Account of the Federal Government and to be shared among the three tiers of government. The NNPC who represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG had unilaterally without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of 1.05 billion dollars thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.

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“There was no transparency in this extra budgetary spending as only the Group Managing Director and the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer had the knowledge of how the 1.05 billion dollars was spent. There are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation. Hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account,” Elumelu submitted.

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Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the House Committee on Public Account to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that had taken place on the dividends account. He also directed the committee to invite the managements of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG in the process and report back to the house in four weeks.

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