AGF opens lid on controversial N4.194 trillion grant paid from Federation account since 2017

Finally, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (oAGF) on Tuesday unveiled full details of the N4.194 trillion fuel subsidy paid to oil traders between January 2017 and June 2022.

A breakdown of Federation account grant payments/deductions calculated by oAGF through the Federation Account Department for the reporting period showed that N126.539 billion was disbursed from January to December 2017; 691.586 billion naira were paid from January to December 2018; 537.209 billion naira paid from January to December 2019; 133.625 billion naira paid from January to December 2020; 1.159 billion naira paid from January to December 2021 while 1.545 trillion naira was paid between January and June 2022.

Details of the grant payment were contained in the 2-page documents submitted by the supervising director of the oAGF, Mr. Sylva Okolieaboh to the House of Representatives ad hoc committee inaugurated to “determine the actual daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS ) in Nigeria”, chaired by Hon. Abdulkadir Abdullahi.

Lawmakers, while reviewing various documents submitted by various stakeholders, discovered subsidies claimed by oil companies while NNPC was the sole importer of PMS, and questioned submissions made by NNPC subsidiaries.

Hon. Abdullahi said, “It is now surprising to see that oil companies are releasing import figures, in fact, more than what NNPC imported in 2020. I need some clarification and if that happens, the do they matter without any form of subsidy or what really happened? »

In his response, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Ogbonnaya Orji, said, “Why NNPC has taken on most imports, we are also aware of others partnerships and agreements they have with the IOCs. But I would like the director of technical services to talk more about it.

According to the NEITI delegation, NNPC, as the sole importer of PMS in the country, had entered into SWAP and other agreements with CIOs to reduce its exposure to problems.

He explained that “NNPC had agreements with some of the oil traders as a stopgap for the import of PMS in 2020 but what we would do is we will provide you with information about the imported things and the vessels and everything so that you know who made the import. As I said, this is the data we got from PPPRA at the time and from NNPC as well, so we collated this data from the importers themselves.

“We will therefore provide you with the information of all those who constituted the companies that made these imports during this period, approximately 16 billion liters.

He however noted that the PPPRA is the only agency that could verify the payment of the subsidy and any discrepancy adding that the NNPC, as the main importer of last resort, should be held accountable as it has the required data.

While expressing serious concern over the failure to provide details of the actual volume of liters of Premium Motor Gasoline (PMS) distributed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited which amounted to N4.194 trillion , Fuel Subsidy Deductions from the Federation Account, the legislators directed the Director of the oAGF to provide the statement of accounts from the Federation Account alongside the statements from the Crude Oil Account.

In his remarks, Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP-Abia) who questioned the reason for the refusal of regulatory agencies to provide details of the actual volume of PMS consumed daily in the country, stressed the need for careful examination of bank documents relevant.

Concerned about the inconsistency of the reports submitted to the Committee by the oAGF, he said: “Could this be the reason why all the accountants general are being fired or removed, even this one acting for fraud?” he asked.

Hon. Nkem-Abonta argued that the controversies surrounding the payment of “the subsidy which is the hot issue in Nigeria, we see how much you have paid in subsidy without getting the corresponding volume and you argue. So the subsidy you paid is for what volume?

“That’s the basis of this investigation. And I’m asking, could that be why most accounting generals are being removed? It’s not me removing them, they’re removing them for issues based on the fraud and why do you object, is it a lie that accountant generals are being removed for fraud?”

While emphasizing the need to ensure compliance with the position of the Committee, Hon. Nkem-Abonta said: “Mr. President, I have a motion, you are a signatory to the account of the Federation, you are and I propose that we know the details of what we are doing, that we do not advance in the black light, that for us to know the volume, that he should get us the gross sell account, he should give us the PPMC sell account, he should give us the PMS sell count and any account maintained on So that we can look at the count, the volumes and then do that, that’s the only way we can, so I’m suggesting.

Speaking earlier, the chair of the ad hoc committee, the Hon. Abdullahi observed that: “The money that NNPC generates is supposed to go to the Federation account, you know that this money is not only for the Federal Government but also for Abia State, the Government local Ningi, the three levels of government and other deductions.

“But before he gets there, NNPC will take him down, they’re waving a Supreme Court judgment or whatever. You know it’s also questionable because the opinion is that the judgment doesn’t say you should go to the source, no. pay to the government, pay to the state treasury (DRF) and then just like the accountant general pays to the Three Tiers of Government, that’s how he will also pay you, and then you pay the grant.

“That’s how it would be more transparent and I think people will be confident that the right thing is being done. But before the thing got into the Federation account, they (NNPC) deleted it at the source. It’s very wrong, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s in violation of the constitution.

“It assumes being in the Federation account and while they make transfers. They will now bring you the credit approved by the National Assembly that you should take a trillion something point for the grant.

“Yes, that’s how we approve the money for the Federal Department of Education, but does the Federal Department of Education take it from the source? Even the revenue they generate, they pay into the CRF and then you transfer it to them now, I think that’s the right thing to do.

“So you’re going to take that and rework the paper and give us the volume against each value that’s presented here. That way it will help the committee and we’ll really appreciate the office if you can be able to do that” , he noted.

He also urged the oAGF to obtain relevant documentary evidence from the NNPC on the 37 billion naira withdrawn from the proceeds he is expected to hand over, what is the use? If they say it’s for a grant, okay how many liters and volume, they should give you and then you give us. We have to get it from different sources because everyone says it’s a hard thing, we don’t have this, we don’t have that. Look at NUPENG they brought 60 million liters but there are no details. We really have to be serious about it, even for planning purposes,” he stressed.

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