The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, on Thursday, reiterated that there was nothing illegitimate about the withdrawal of $1.05bn from the Nigerian LNG dividends account.
The corporation said the money was withdrawn in public interest in that it was used to support the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, which is highly subsidised at the rate of N145 per litre.
According to data, petrol is supposed to be sold at a rate of at least N220 per litre but it currently sells at N145.
The Chief Financial Officer, NNPC, Mr Isiaka Abdulrazaq, said this was because the Federal Government, through the NNPC, tried to make the fuel affordable and available to Nigerians by paying the under-recoveries.
It said Section 7 of the NNPC Act empowered it to make the withdrawals from the NLNG dividend account.
Recall that the Senate had in November begun an investigation into the alleged diversion of $1.05bn from the NLNG dividends account by the NNPC.
However, the NNPC CFO, Abdulrazaq, said no money was diverted, explaining that the corporation met with the Senate Committee on Gas recently and provided the information requested by the committee.
According to him, the mandate given to the committee has nothing to do with misappropriation or missing money of any type.
He said, “It is about whether the use of those funds was legal or not. The committee is not saying the deductions from the NLNG dividends account were not legal or appropriated. They don’t have any issue with what the funds were used for or whether there is an issue around what the funds were used for.
“The Senate committee is basically investigating the legality of what we consider a legitimate withdrawal from the NLNG dividends account.”