The Senate Committee on Finance investigating the alleged failure of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to remit $20 billion into the Federation Account said yesterday that the forensic report of consultants the committee hired to look into the account of the NNPC on the missing fund would be ready next week.
He however clarified that the forensic audit was carried out on the $2.1 billion which was the third party financing as the senate does not have the required financial resources to hire a forensic expert that would conduct audit of the entire account of the corporation.
Speaking at the investigative hearing on the alleged unremitted fund, Chairman of the Senate Committee Finance, Senator Ahmed Makarfi has also given the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, two weeks to submit details on certification of subsidy for Kerosene and fuel from July 2013 to December 2013.
Makarfi said, “We found out that they (Ministry of Finance) don’t have the legal basis to hire forensic experts. As a committee we cannot appoint auditors to go into the executive arm but we can go anywhere and ask anything.
“But if we go do we have the financial capacity to do that. No! but there must be forensic audit. and since we are all interested in this forensic audit, the president can direct that forensic audit be carried out”
He added that the Auditor General even though the constitution says he cannot appoint the auditor he can recommend auditors from corporations and he can do this special investigation which technically is the same thing as auditing.
He said, “We have to find a legal and constitutional way of doing something so that someone would not challenge it on the basis of law because you don’t know what you are going to find out that’s why we demanded that the report of the auditor general on the forensic audit should be made directly to the National Assembly.”
Makarfi therefore said that the outcome of the probe being carried out by the Auditor – General would form the basis for whatever action that the National Assembly may wish to take because it can rely on the auditor general’s report.
The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led committee has also given the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, two weeks to submit details on certification of subsidy for Kerosene and fuel from July 2013 to December 2013.
The authorities of PPPRA had requested that the senate committee should give them three weeks to get all the necessary information on the certification of subsidy for kerosene and fuel for six months, but the committee gave the agency two weeks to that affect.
Speaking at the investigative hearing on the alleged unremitted fund, Chairman of the Senate Committee Finance, Senator Ahmed Makarfi said the committee was waiting for the report of the independent consultants appointed by the committee to carry out forensic examination and audit of expenses incurred by NNPC which would be ready next week.
Senator Makarfi who said that the committee had decided to stand down any other assignment so as to conclude investigations on the alleged missing funds further said that the Auditor-General of the Federation had written formally to the committee confirming he was conducting forensic checks on the said unremitted funds.
No money is missing, NNPC insists
But the Group Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu insisted that there were no missing funds, adding that each business is governed by different business arrangement.
He said, “We have given a detailed account, no money is missing, each business is governed by a different business arrangement, if you do not trace it to the business arrangement and the governance structure, you will not understand.
“Now you heard here, we had under lifting and reconciliation are held quarterly, when you say to reconcile, you will be able to balance your books and come up with the true position of things. [Vanguard]