Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, has applauded President Bola Ahmed Tinubu's directive for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to take over the responsibility of crude oil sales from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).
Based on President Tinubu’s directive, the NNPCL is now to pay all crude oil proceeds into the Consolidated Revenue Fund domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Senate Chief Whip said the move by the President is constitutional, and a welcome development that should be supported by everybody.
TORI earlier reported that the move by the President was to show transparency and accountability as NNPCL over the years has maintained sole control over crude oil sales, and only rendered accounts to the Federal Government.
Under the new arrangement, NNPC will submit receipts for crude oil sales to CBN for vetting and documentation.
Reacting to the development, Ndume, while speaking with reporters in Abuja, commended the move and also asked President Tinubu to sign an Executive Order on Unexplained Wealth to empower anti-corruption and security agencies to go after Nigerians with questionable riches.
The Senator further charged the President to extend his directive to NNPCL to all revenue-generating agencies of the Federal Government.
Ndume said: “The President has now ordered that all crude oil sales money should be paid into the CBN. That is a very welcome and positive thing that he has done and he should not stop there.
“All agencies of government that are revenue generating should pay their money into the consolidated revenue account and as they present their budget, whatever expenditure they are going to incur, let them bring it before the National Assembly. That’s what the Constitution says.
“So, what they now want is to make a political issue again out of it. This decision that Mr. President took is the right decision.
“It is constitutional and it should be supported by everybody. That way, it should also apply to other agencies of government that are driving revenue. They cannot keep it.
“NIMASA should pay directly like NNPCL into the CRF. The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) should do the same. The Nigeria Customs Service and all other revenue-generating agencies should pay revenues into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, and their accounts should remain with CBN because they can do banking.
“So, if they want to withdraw money, they should withdraw through the CBN. They were doing this before. Don’t go and keep people’s money in commercial banks and do transactions with it. That is it.
“I reiterate my call commending him for asking NNPCL to pay all oil revenue into the Consolidated Revenue account.”
On the call for President Tinubu to sign an Executive Order on unexplained wealth, Ndume said if done, it would go a long way in fighting corruption.
“The next thing now, if President Tinubu wants to fight corruption, would be to sign an Executive Order on Unexplained Wealth in this country.
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“Let all these people explain where they got their money, including myself. People should stop talking about trivialities or personal issues; they should talk about national issues,” Ndume submitted.