The Presidency has said President Muhammadu Buhari would consider the All Progressives Congress’ call for the probe of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration over $5.5bn dividends said to have been paid to the Federal Government by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said this in an exclusive interview with our correspondent.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Sunday, urged the Buhari-led Federal Government to also probe the taxes and dividends accruable to the Jonathan administration through the NLNG in the last six years.
But Adesina told our correspondent that when calls are made the same way the party had done, such calls would be considered.
He assured Nigerians that if there was merit in the call, the President would look into it.
He however said time would be needed for action to be taken on the matter since the party only made the call on Sunday.
Adesina said, “The All Progressives Congress’ position on the NLNG fund is just a call.
“When calls are made, they will be considered. If there is merit in that call, you can be sure that the President will look into it.
“It was a call that came from the party and it just came yesterday.
“Time must be given for the President to consider the call.”
The APC had claimed that apart from the $1.6bn NLNG payment for 2015, NLNG also paid $1.4bn as Income Tax/Education Tax in May 2014; paid $0.3bn as Education Tax to the FG in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and $1.2bn in VAT and Withholding Tax to the FG since 2009.
The party said since those payments were just those made in the past six years alone, there would have been other payments before then.
“In addition, dividend payments totaling $4,728,136,946 was paid to the Federal Government between 2004 and 2009, out of which only $127,851,348.19 was credited to the Federal Government’s Independent Account with JP Morgan, leaving a balance of over $4bn.
“The questions to ask, therefore, are why were all the past taxes and dividends neither fully paid into the Federation Account nor shared by the three tiers of government and what happened to the funds?” the party had asked.
The party, therefore, asked the Federal Government to probe the immediate past government on where it kept the $5.5bn which it said was the dividend paid to the Federal Government by the NLNG before the May 29 handover.
“We didn’t see the $5.5bn in the system. Let them show Nigerians where it is,” the APC said