The Senate has discovered that NNPC was operating a secret cash reserve where it withdraws money to augment funds appropriated to it by the National Assembly in the budget.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly was told that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, realized N2.36trillion between January and September, 2012, while its total expenditure for the same period stood at N2.84trillion.
Disclosing this when he appeared before the Senator Magnus Abe, PDP, Rivers South-East led Joint National Assembly Committee on Petroleum, Downstream for the 2013 budget defence, the Corporation’s Chief Strategist, Dr. Tim Okon explained that the projected revenue for January and September, 2012 was N4.02trillion. Okon who noted that the full year performance was expected to be N3.23trillion, also told the lawmakers that the 2012 plan for the three refineries was for the refining of 44million barrels. He added that 23million barrels out of a total annual allocation of 162million barrels were refined.
Senator Abe also asked, “Your expenditure is more than the revenue you received during the period. Where did you get the extra money from?
Reacting to the issues raised, Okon said, “The NNPC is a running business and it has reserves and we got the money from the reserves.”
Okon who had earlier told the committee that he did not have the details with him, told the lawmakers that the budget document submitted to the committee was not “an audited account of the NNPC. You can wait until we have a full audited account and then know whether there is a budget deficit.”
Also in his remarks, the Group Executive Director, Refining and Petrochemicals, Philip Chukwu, however tried to explain the source of the extra money that made up the corporation’s total expenditure, adding, “There are proceeds from NNPC’s oil production activities. It also funds the work in the refineries from the profits coming from the revenue streams. That is why we have the higher operational expenses.”