The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd has debunked reports which claimed that it was operating a secret account.
There had been reports alleging that a House of Representatives ad hoc Committee set up to investigate “the structure and accountability and production sharing contracts of the NNPC from 1990 to date” had found a hidden account that belongs to NNPC Ltd.
The publication had stated that this information was brought to light during an investigation into all Joint Venture agreements and Production-Sharing Contracts in the oil and gas industry since 1990.
This is not correct.
But reacting to the reports, the NNPC in a statement signed by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammad said neither it, or its upstream arm, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), operated a secret accounts.
It explained in the statement that the Joint Venture cash call accounts denominated in US Dollars and Nigerian Naira are all domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.
The statement reads, “The Joint Venture Cash Call (JVCC) NGN and USD Accounts were created to cater for the funding of cash calls for the various Joint Ventures managed by NNPCL on behalf of the Federal Government.
“Joint Venture Proceeds Accounts were opened for the individual JVs to implement the Self-Funding Strategy which aims at making the JVs to be self-reliant.
“The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) is fully aware of the JVCC accounts as the OAGF regularly sanctions and approves the updates/change of signatories to the accounts.
“NNPC has documents where these correspondences with the OAGF were acknowledged.”
Muhammad stated further in the statement that the NNPC/NAPIMS books of accounts in respect of the Federations Upstream Petroleum activities are audited annually by independent external auditors.
A critical part of the independent statutory audit, according to the NNPC, is sending of circularization to Banks to confirm balances and bank accounts belonging to NNPC/NAPIMS.
It added, “Audited Financial Statements (AFS) are submitted to all stakeholders including the National Assembly.
“In addition, the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation conducts periodic (yearly) checks of the activities of NNPC/NAPIMS.
“Also, activities of NNPC/NAPIMS are audited yearly by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
“NNPC has documented evidence of the correspondences between NNPCL and The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) before the accounts were opened with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in line with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.
“We also have evidence of reconciliations carried out with the CBN for the year ended 31-12-2021 in respect to the JV Cash Call Accounts”
With such multiple layers of checks and balances, the NNPC said that it is impossible for it to operate secret accounts until the ad hoc Committee, with due respect to its competencies, discovers it.
“If such ‘secret account’ does exist, then the NNPCL certainly is not aware of, and has absolutely nothing to do with it,” the statement concluded.