Based on the information provided by the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in the forensic audit report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on the allegedly missing $20 billion oil money, the findings are not 100% reliable.
President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the much anticipated report release saying his administration had nothing to hide regarding the matter.
Premium Times analysed the document and concluded that the firm itself said that it could not vouch for the integrity of its findings. The reason is that data of the 199-page report were limited to available information and did not constitute a review in accordance with generally accepted standards.
"The procedures we performed did not constitute an examination or a review in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards or attestation standards.
"Accordingly, we provide no opinion, attestation or other form of assurance with respect to our work or the information upon which our work was based."
The document contains that the NNPC should refund to the government a minimum of $1.48 billion of missing oil funds.
The audit firm enumerated some factors that could lead to inaccuracies. For example, they had to access to the full account of some relevant agencies like NPDC, the upstream petroleum industry subsidiary of the NNPC.
"We did not obtain any information directly from NPDC, but in accordance with NPDC former Managing Director’s (Mr Briggs Victor) submission to the Senate Committee hearing on the subject matter, for the period, NPDC generated $5.11billion (net of royalties and petroleum profits tax paid)."
Additionally, without an independent legal opinion, they relied on the legal advice of the Nigerian government’s Attorney General (AG) on the subject of the transfers of various NNPC (55%) portion of Oil leases (OMLs) involved in the Shell (SPDC) Divestments which impact crude oil flows in the period.
"The AG’s opinion indicated that these transfers were within the authority of the Minister to make. Thus, these assets were validly transferred to NPDC. The same AG’s Legal Opinion also indicated that NPDC was to make payments for Net Revenue (dividend) to NNPC, which should ultimately be remitted to the Federation Account."
However, the PwC analysed the information independently, having considered the documentation, reviews of data and interviews conducted.
It is also stated in the end of the introduction message that the findings are not to be discussed a Third Party.
"This Report and all PwC deliverables are intended solely for the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation, for their internal use and benefit and are not intended to nor may they be relied upon by any other party (“Third Party”). Neither this deliverable nor its contents may be distributed to, discussed with, or otherwise disclosed to any Third Party without the prior written consent of PwC. PwC accepts no liability or responsibility to any Third Party who gains access to this deliverable."
Recall that the need for investigations emerged after Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who was at that time the CBN governor, posed a scandalous allegation about the missing billions.
Since the report appearance, Jonathan's administration has been under pressure to make its content public. Although it has been finally done, some notices in the introduction challenge the figures reliability.