The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd has released a statement to refute operating secret account claims.
NNPC's spokesperson, Garba Deen Muhammad said reports credited to the House of Representatives ad hoc Committee set up to investigate “The structure, accountability and production sharing contracts of the NNPC from 1990 to date”, which allegedly found a hidden account that belongs to it is incorrect.
Insisting that the NNPC, directly or through its upstream arm, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), does not operate secret accounts at all, he added 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.
According to Deen, 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.
Asides revealing that the NNPC/NAPIMS books of accounts in respect of the Federations Upstream Petroleum activities are audited annually by independent external auditors, he added that the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation conducts periodic (yearly) checks of the activities of NNPC/NAPIMS.
Also, the activities of NNPC/NAPIMS are audited yearly by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
The statement read;
“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.
“Thus, with such multiple layers of checks and balances, it is impossible for the NNPCL to operate secret accounts until the ad hoc Committee, with due respect to its competencies, discovers it. If such a “secret account” does exist, then the NNPCL certainly is not aware of, and has absolutely nothing to do with it.”