Abuja – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has attributed a shortfall of $12 billion as responsible for the unaccounted $49.8 billion oil revenue.
Sanusi made this known on Wednesday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the reconciliation meeting of the CBN and the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum.
“This is the first time we are speaking on this subject, I will like to give context to this matter. First of all, it is important to remember that the CBN never issued a public statement or made a press statement on this matter.
“The CBN wrote a letter to the president which unfortunately found its way to the press and that letter was an invitation to begin investigation.
“So, conclusions drawn before investigations were premature. We have been concerned alongside with the finance minister of the decline in the excess crude in spite the fact that oil price was high.
“We were concerned at what we saw as a gap between what we had in our records as the values of crude shipped by NNPC and the amount repatriated as equity to the federation account.
“What we have in our records was that about $65 billion was shipped by NNPC and about $15 billion was returned into the federation account,’’ he said.
Sanusi said that the reconciliation meeting had helped both parties and the apex bank to understand the difference in the records and where there were short falls.
“After the letter and the president asked for this reconciliation meeting, we discovered that out of the $65 billion that the NNPC shipped, $24 billion did not belong to the NNPC.
“It was crude that was paid by oil companies as taxes, royalty and shipment and that explain half of the $50 billion.
“The outstanding issue is on the $28 billion domestic crude which has been taken by the NNPC,’’ Sanusi said.
He said that from the CBN’s records, it had received $16 billion and a shortfall of $12 billion, adding that the shortfall formed part of the ongoing discussion in the reconciliation meeting.
However, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, said that shortfall identified had been an open record to the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.
According to her, the shortfall has been discussed and acknowledged by the NNPC.
She said that crude oil theft had remained a major challenge to the sector, adding that aggressive move to increase production volume and mitigate incidence of crude oil theft were in place
In her remarks, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said that the reconciliation meeting would ensure that Nigerians were given full details of the missing money.
“We have told you that there is nothing to hide, we have to be accountable to the Nigerian public and you will get a press release showing you the amount in question.
“The issue is that the CBN, through their own numbers, got another view of the situations which they are now telling you that they thought certain things which were not the case.
“They did not know about the lifting on behalf of other people and now we have the chats, they have seen it and I must say to CBN that I commend them for saying, look, now you have shown us what it is.
“We accept and that is why we are here so that the Nigerian public can know what is happening in the country and that there is no mystery and this is what we are explaining to you.”