The Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) illegally spent about $4.5 billion on kerosene subsidy from the Federation Account without appropriation.
This disclosure was made yesterday by Senator Ahmed Makarfi who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.
Predicting that the ongoing forensic audit of the NNPC would expose corrupt top officials, Makarfi, whose committee probed the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Lamido Sanusi’s allegation on the $49.8billion ‘missing’ oil money, told reporters in Kaduna that the panel’s recommendations were subject to the forensic audit’s outcome.
“The forensic audit may indict many individuals. We were asked to find out the whereabouts of some money. For $47 billion out of the $67 billion, there was no dispute at all right from the time we started our sitting that the money was in the Federation Account. Where there was dispute was between the figure of $10.8 billion and $20 billion.
“Even that dispute did not state that the money was really missing, but what has been done with that money. It was not stated at that time that the money was missing, but that it was not remitted to the Federation Account. If it was not remitted to the Federation Account, it could be hanging in one account or the other.
“We took the larger figure of $20billion so that we could investigate what happened to that money. Out of that money, $5.5 billion was spent on petrol and what we needed to do was to find out if the money was appropriated. We checked the budget of the relevant ministries and discovered that the National Assembly appropriated the money.
“So, if the National Assembly appropriated money and it was expended, you cannot talk about money missing. Another $4.5 billion was expended on subsidy on kerosene. But unlike that of petrol, the money was not appropriated by the National Assembly, but there was evidence and certification that the money was spent.
“Again, there is a difference between missing money and money spent without appropriation. You know what it was used for, but the fact is, was it authorised by law? It was not authorised constitutionally because all money to be spent are supposed to be appropriated by the National Assembly. That takes care of $10 billion out of the $20 billion.