The Founder and Chairman of Stanbic-IBTC Bank, Atedo Peterside, has said the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which is currently in the eye of the storm over non-remittance of funds to the Federation Account, must give adequate explanations about the alleged missing $20 billion.
The Central Bank of Nigeria and its suspended Governor, Malam Lamido Sanusi, Peterside said, must also respond appropriately to the damning report of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, which indicted the apex bank and its embattled governor for ‘financial recklessness’. The report formed the basis upon which President Goodluck Jonathan suspended Sanusi about a fortnight ago.
Peterside made these views known in a statement on Friday.
He said, “The NNPC’s assertions must be subjected to a proper forensic audit, while the CBN must provide satisfactory answers to the FRC’s queries”.
While acknowledging the suggestion of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who asserted that there was a need for an independent forensic audit of the NNPC’s account, he stressed that the fact that there was a shortfall in the first place, meant that a thorough investigation has to be carried out.
He said, “If there is a shortfall, then there is a problem. Whether it is $49bn, or $10bn, or $20bn, is not the issue, even $1bn is a serious problem.
“Some conspiracy theorists argue that the CBN Governor was suspended because he blew the whistle on NNPC, while others argue that CBN only blew the whistle on NNPC in order to distract attention from their own travails with FRC.
“I don’t care about conspiracy theorists. If the CBN is able to provide satisfactory answers to FRC’s queries, then FRC must be made to tender a public apology to CBN and its Board.
“If NNPC ‘fails’ its forensic audit, then all relevant heads around there must also roll”.