Last updateVen, 30 Jan 2015 9pm

Oil money: NGO seeks probe of alleged missing US$20b oil money

Missing of oil money in Nigeria - A Nigerian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has asked the anti-graft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe allegations that US$20 billion oil money is missing from the account of the state-run oil firm, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The petition followed last week's allegation by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that the NNPC 'is operating a racket through which the federation has been losing billions”.

Mr Sanusi made the allegation when he appeared at a Senate hearing on the matter, insisting that the NNPC has yet to account for US$20 billion from the total US$67 billion oil sales receipts from January 2012 to July 2013.

SERAP, in a petition to EFCC Chair Ibrahim Lamorde, said: “We are concerned about the lack of accountability of the NNPC, which is not consistent with the attitude of a government establishment funded with tax payers’ money. This lack of accountability partly explains why ordinary Nigerians do not trust the NNPC to deal with corruption within its systems. The NNPC will need to come clean with the Nigerian people if it is to enjoy their trust and confidence.

“We believe that the allegation that this huge sum of public money is missing, coming as it were from an influential government official, demands an urgent investigation from the EFCC,” the organisation said.

It urged the EFCC to “ask the NNPC to reveal information about the systems it has established to prevent public money from being stolen or to recover the missing oil money'.

'It is very important that the EFCC sends a strong message that it is willing and able to step up its efforts to detect, investigate and prosecute cases of corruption,” SERAP said in a statement made available to PANA here Sunday.

The NNPC has denied the allegation that US$20 billion oil money is missing.

Pana 09/02/2014