6th July, 2012
Nigeria’s Central Bank on Friday insisted that the NNPC remained the sole signatory of two crude oil and gas accounts domiciled with JP Morgan Chase, a U.S.-based bank, its spokesman, Mr Ugo Okoroafor said.
He was reacting to the allegations that the apex bank is signatory to an alleged secret foreign account opened by the NNPC.
The statement, issued in Abuja, said that mandates to open the accounts were duly authorised by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF).
It said the CBN/NNPC Crude Oil & Gas Account was opened on May 16, 2002 on the “express instruction of the OAGF. ’’
Similarly, the statement credited the OAGF as having authorised the opening of another account, CBN/NNPC Gas Account, on 3 February 2009.
The statement reads in part: “the two accounts, which were opened as domiciliary accounts, are backed by the appropriate mandates of the OAGF.
“ The NNPC on monthly basis issues instructions to the CBN on how much should be paid as Joint Venture Cash Call (JVC).
“It also specifies how much should be monetised and transferred to the Federation Account for distribution to the three tiers of government.
“A minimum balance of 10 million dollars is always left in the revenue account.
“On CBN/NNPC Gas Account, the NNPC issues monthly mandates to enable the CBN monetise and transfer the balance to the Federation Account, leaving a minimum balance of five million dollars.
“All movements of funds out of the accounts are duly authorised by NNPC. ’’
The statement explained that the role of the CBN was were limited to ensuring that lodgments/deposits into the accounts are consistent with their requisite mandates.
It said the CBN also provided customers with the statements of accounts.
“In the case of the accounts in question, NNPC and OAGF are provided the statements of account on a weekly basis, ensuring that accounts are reconciled regularly.
“In the case of the said accounts, this is done with both JP Morgan Chase and NNPC while the OAGF is availed with monthly reconciliation reports on the accounts. ’’
On Monday, the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Appropriation and Finance, accused the NNPC of operating an illegal account with JP Morgan.
The revelation came to light during a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Fuel Subsidy.
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Magnus Abe, said the account contravened section 80 (4) of the Constitution.
The section required that all monies accruing to the country be paid into the Federation Account.
According to Abe, the Constitution provides that such funds cannot be withdrawn except in a manner prescribed by the National Assembly.