Abuja - The Presidency has denied reports attributed to President Goodluck Jonathan confirming that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wrongly withheld $10 billion from the federation account.
The denial came on Tuesday in a statement signed by Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
“Reports in some domestic media today which quoted President Goodluck Jonathan as "confirming" in Amsterdam that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wrongly withheld $10 Billion from the federation account are completely false and a total distortion of the President's comments during his meeting with the Nigerian community in the Netherlands.
"At no time during the well-attended reception did President Jonathan also confirm any "irregularities" in the NNPC,” Abati stated.
He said 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.
“President Jonathan's verifiable words while responding to questions from members of the community on the allegation and other domestic issues were clear and unambiguous,” stated Abati.
Abati added that after asserting that allegations that various sums were missing were inconsistent and lacked credence.
The President's exact words were as follows, “As at the time, the Finance Ministry was saying they had not been able to reconcile only 10 billion dollars. There are issues in NNPC but we are on it.”
Abati said the Presidency deplored the “mischievous and unethical distortion of his comments in the media.”
“Once again, we urge the media to show greater regard for truth and accuracy when reporting on the President.”
– CAJ News