The House of Representatives will investigate the state-owned oil company for allegedly not sending enough funds to the government as another meeting on Tuesday by the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) to resolve the disagreement on remittances for June was deadlocked.
The lower chamber voted to start a probe after a motion on Tuesday from Nicholas Ossai, a member of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party and the chairman of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges.
There’s an “urgent need” to investigate NNPC’s “under-remittances” to the so-called Federation Account, Ossai said in his motion. NNPC short-changed the government by 100 billion naira ($277 million) in June and high crude prices mean that was “not caused by poor revenue from oil but likely as a result of some individuals not doing what they are supposed to,” he said.
The House probe is another intervention to the disagreement that has led to some states unable to pay June salaries. Earlier, the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo had also waded in to resolve the issue that has pitted NNPC against the Federal Ministry of Finance and the 36 state commissioners for finance.
Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said last month that the amount NNPC was transferring to the government was “unacceptable.”
The much awaited June 2018 Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) Meeting scheduled to hold on Tuesday was postponed to Thursday.
The meeting which lasted for about one and a half hours was inconclusive because other members of the FAAC could not reach an agreement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the amount to be shared for June.
An hour after the meeting commenced, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, was the first to walk out of the meeting with his staff. His abrupt departure was what signaled that all was not well with the meeting.
Shortly thereafter other members of the FAAC started streaming out of the auditorium of the federal ministry of finance venue of the meeting.
A source at the meeting told The Nation that the meeting was inconclusive because they could not reach an agreement with the NNPC “on how much to share and what it is bringing to the table.
Thursday’s FAAC meeting, the source said “will be explosive as the state governors have vowed not to shift grounds until the NNPC gives a true account of what is due to the federation account.”
No official came to brief the press after the meeting but words that filtered out of the meeting was that the next meeting has been fixed for tomorrow.
If Thursday’s rescheduled meeting remains deadlocked again that will signal another month of civil servants going without their salaries because of the refusal of the NNPC to meet the demands of other FAAC members to fully disclose and remit what was accrued for sharing.
The last successful FAAC Allocation that was shared was the April for May allocation. By implication, the May accruals to be shared for June has remained controversial and contentious thus denying civil servants their monthly entitlements.
The Federation Account is used to collect revenue from oil and other sources and then allocate the funds to Nigeria’s federal, state and local governments.