DPR, central bank, accused of diverting $950m oil royalty – House of Reps

Peoples Digest Online-   An ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives on Sunday accused the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Central Bank of Nigeria of keeping $950m in a secret domiciliary account from 2011 and 2014 as against remitting the money into the Federation Account.

The committee, which is chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Adamawa State, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, is investigating the alleged $17bn crude and gas resources stolen from Nigeria between 2011 and 2014 . The DPR was also accused of failing to declare a separate $70.648m .

The committee threatened to issue an arrest warrant against the management of the agency for ignoring its invitations. The panel said while the DPR’s official account for the remittance of royalties was with JP Morgan, a second account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was uncovered.

Namdas stated that when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was queried over the account, it confirmed its existence. For instance, the committee said $10.2m was received in April 2011 by the DPR and CBN as royalties from Moni Pulo.

Namdas, however, said only $3.425m was paid into the Federation Account, while $6.853m was reportedly diverted. “In June 2011, rentals were received from Compile, but the DPR and the CBN credited the Federation Account with only $121.263m, thereby diverting $10.157m.

“In April 2012, the sum of $44.770m received by the DPR and the CBN was not credited to the Federation Account; while in September 2012, the sum of $38.842m paid by Chevron as royalty was not credited to the Federation Account as same was deducted under the cover of refund to Philip’s Oil.

“In October 2012, all payments received through the Federal Reserve Bank, estimated at over $200m, were not credited to the Federation Account.”

Speaking further, Namdas recounted how in April 2013, the DPR and CBN paid $117.583m out of $281.750m into the the Federation Account, implying that another $164,167m was diverted. He added, “In August 2013, the DPR allegedly diverted the sum of $242.715m from revenue accruable to the Federation Account and in March 2014, the DPR and the CBN concealed over $300m.”

According to the committee, the money kept in secret by the agencies between May and July 2014 was $450m.

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