Abuja - The Presidency has refuted reports quoting President Goodluck Jonathan as confirming that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wrongly withheld $10 billion from the Federation Account.
Dr Reuben Abati, the Senior Special Adviser to the President Media and Publicity, made the denial in a statement in Abuja.
The statement described the report as completely false and a total distortion of the president’s comments during his meeting with the Nigerian community in The Netherlands.
"Sensational reports in the media to that effect are reckless, mischievous and unprofessional misrepresentations of the president's restatement to the Nigerian community of the Federal Government's position on the allegation that $20 billion is "missing" from the NNPC or the Federation Account by reporters who were not at the event or even in Holland at all,’’ it said.
The statement said the president’s speech while responding to questions from members of the community on the allegation and other domestic issues were clear and unambiguous.
It said the president asserted that the allegation that various sums - $49.8 billion, $12 billion or $20 billion - were missing were inconsistent and lacked credibility.
The statement quoted the president as saying: “As at the time, the Finance Ministry was saying they had not been able to reconcile only $10 billion. There are issues in NNPC but we are on it."
It added: ‘‘the president went on to say that to reassure Nigerians of his administration's continued commitment to openness, transparency and probity in the aftermath of the unsubstantiated allegations, the Federal Government had authorised a professional forensic audit of NNPC accounts to clear the air.’’
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