The House of Representatives yesterday set-up a committee to investigate the under remittance of revenue to the federation account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).The 12-member committee headed by the deputy minority leader of the house, Hon Chukwuma Onyema, is expected to ascertain among others, the volume of oil production as against the projection in the budget, the exchange rate being used and cash flow from January to July 2018. Chairman, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Hon Nicholas Ossai Ossai, had moved a motion under Matter of Urgent Public Importance, seeking the House to investigate the shortage.
Ossia, who represents Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency of Delta State, said the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) monthly meeting did not hold in June due to under remittance of funds to the account to a tone of N400 million by the NNPC.
He observed that it was not the first time NNPC was failing to remit funds accurately and that it was happening at a time when oil price was on the increase.
This according to him, cannot be blamed on lack of funds but some persons in the company were not doing their job. Ossai expressed worry as some states would not be able to pay salaries and allowances, hence delaying government activities. Chairman, House Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon Sergius Ogun, in his contribution, urged the house to expand the scope of the investigation as he described the NNPC as the “ fat cow of the nation.”
He said the company was poorly managed, adding that he knew a lot that would put the company out of business. On his own part, the chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Hon Aminu Shehu Shagari, said that he had seen several motions on the NNPC on the floor of the green chambers from 6th, 7th and now the 8th Assembly. “I was a part of the committee that investigated the NNPC in the 6th Assembly, we discovered a lot of things, submitted our report and nothing happened.
Chairman, Committee on Public Petitions, Nkem Abonta, noted that the house must do the needful to ensure proper management of the NNPC. According to him, “The nation was said to be out of recession but we cannot feel the result yet and so we cannot afford to have the NNPC managed wrongly.” Abonta said the problem in the NNPC has persisted because past reports on the company were not debated but put in the archives.