The Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force has detailed how the Nigerian government and national oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, treat huge oil revenues accruing to the federation as a reserve of money that could be used for illicit purposes without accountability.
In its 178-page report, the committee revealed how oil money in the custody of the NNPC were spent on extra-budgetary purposes such as the acquisition of a N2.23billion chopper for the president and a purported sponsorship of the World Cup.
In what appears a brazen misuse of public funds, the NNPC also gave out N700.5million in loan to Sao Tome & Principe based on instruction from the presidency. It also made a curious payment of N2.421billion to a foreign company, Royal Swaziland Sugar Company. The reason for the payment is unclear.
The Corporation also claimed to have underwritten a N521million expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources. This is in addition to the N250million the agency told the committee it spent on court cases involving the ministry.
The ministry has its own budgetary allocation and it is unclear why the NNPC is paying for its expenses. The nature of some of the expenses are also unclear.
The committee also found that the NNPC was being used as illegal lender to presidential committees, ministries and parastatals. For instance the corporation claimed it incurred about N20billion on the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security, based on instruction from the presidency.
The Ribadu committee also determined that about $1billion in signature bonuses, discrepancies in payment by the NNPC, and debts from oil companies were unaccounted for by the NNPC and the Department of Petroleum Resources.