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Forensic experts to trace missing $20b oil money

14 February 2014, 13:07

Abuja - The Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Thursday in Abuja called for independent forensic audit to resolve the puzzle over unremitted funds to the CBN.

 Okonjo-Iweala made the call at the Senate Committee on Finance hearing on the alleged missing $20 billion.

“Let us now focus on the original $10. 8 billion which was the shortfall we had as at July 2013.

“Another reconciliation meeting was held at which NNPC presented data of how they utilised the balance of $10. 8 billion.

She said the reconciliation committees called for backup documents to enable it verify the certified papers.

“Our judgment is that a proper examination of these documents requires technical expertise beyond the capacity of the reconciliation team.

“Therefore, we believe we should have an independent forensic audit to manage these submissions," she said

She said that the $20 billion alleged by the CBN as missing featured in the original reconciliation effort in the cascade presented by NNPC.

She said that the committee agreed that the issues surrounding the alleged fund was legal and required careful legal interpretation.

Earlier, the chairman of the committee, Ahmed Makarafi, had charged reconciliation group to carry out the forensic audit and get back to the committee in one month.

He said that the committee would reconvene on February 20 to enable the Attorney General of Federation to give a legal advice on the issue.

The Minister of Petroleum,  Deizani Alison-Madueke, was also  at the hearing.

Also at the hearing were NNPC Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu, and CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi.

-    NAN

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