A day after Nigeria's president, President Goodluck Jonathan ordered for the release of the version of a forensic audit of $20 billion reportedly missing from Nigeria’s crude oil sales, the FG has been pressuring the auditors, PricewaterhouseCooper to revise some areas of the preliminary report.
According to Sahara reporters, the expert after analyzing the audit report, concluded that the much-anticipated release of the audit report of Nigeria’s accounts and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has provided few insights into the $20 billion that was allegedly not remitted to the Federal Accounts.
The president had authorized the release of the report one day after President-elect Muhammadu Buhari said he would look into the allegation by former Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to the effect that the NNPC had failed to account for more than $20 billion in crude oil exports by Nigeria.
Sanusi was fired from his position after he made the allegations against the president and he is now the Emir of Kano.
“The report reveals that PricewaterhouseCooper was recalled by Nigeria’s auditor general in January 2015 to share its original findings with the NNPC,” said the expert. He added, “At this point, PwC received ‘a significant amount of additional information’ from the NNPC, which was not reportedly not provided during the original review period. Consequently, the so-called updated report released by Jonathan contains significant changes from the previous report.”
He argued that it was a must to look into the nature of the “additional information” produced by NNPC “to determine whether it was simply a tactical deployment of deceptive data and information to color the audit outcome.”
According to the Abuja-based expert, “it is highly curious that the NNPC was apparently inept in the quality of information it originally provided to the auditors. Given the charged nature of the controversy generated by the matter, one would expect that the NNPC would be scrupulous in providing exhaustive information to PricewaterhouseCooper at the initial stages of the audit.”
He revealed that it was upmost important to investigate the additional information to make sure that it was not part of a scheme to compromise the audit process.
The oil sector expert also revealed that there has been a revision but despite this, the new version of the audit still indicated “there was a shortfall of $1.48 billion in oil revenue that the NNPC needed to refund to the Federal Accounts.”
The expert told Sahara reporters that the PwC report also admitted that it did not even constitute an audit. He pointed to a section of the report that read, “the procedures we performed did not constitute an examination or review in accordance with generally accepted standards or attestation standards.”
The PwC report also warned that its findings cannot “be relied upon by any other party (third party)” to Nigeria’s auditor-general. “This is another curious aspect of the audit,” according to the source. “Basically, it’s as if the audit company was telling the world that the work they set out to do did not follow stringent standards of auditing. And yet, the Jonathan administration had promised Nigerians a thorough audit. And a thorough-going audit is certainly what the government owes the Nigerian people.”
PricewaterhouseCooper are one of the top audit and consulting companies, The amount which they charged the FG could not be ascertained as of the time of filling the report.