The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has revealed that under President Goodluck Jonathan’s rule more than half a billion dollars in oil revenues were disappearing every month in unknown direction.
Thus, up to $40 billion could have been diverted from the treasury during Jonathan's five year rule.
Reacting to the results of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPS) audit conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sanusi said: "You can suspend a man, but you cannot suspend the truth".
In his article in the Financial Times titled “Unanswered questions on Nigeria’s missing oil revenue billions” the Emir reiterated that he was fired by Jonathan from the post of the head of Central Bank of Nigeria for exactly the same thing PricewaterhouseCoopers specialists did, questioning where around $20 billion in oil revenues had gone instead of the national treasury.
Sanusi stated in his article that it raises serious questions that should be addressed to the outgoing government officials of highest level including Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke.
He added that Diezani doesn’t have anything to say in her defense. In case these officials are guilty of embezzlement they must be charged, insists Sanusi, claiming that “Nigerians did not vote for an amnesty for anyone”.
"Contrary to the claims of petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, the audit report doesn't exonerate the NNPC, it [PwC audit report] establishes that the gap between the company’s oil revenues between January 2012 and July 2013 and cash remitted to the government for the same period was $18.5bn."
The Emir also revealed one of the embezzlement schemes which made it possible to divert several billion dollars in the unknown direction.
The so-called kerosene subsidy scam included $3.4 billion withheld by NNPC to pay for subsidies on kerosene to bring it to a price of 50 naira per litre. But common Nigerians have never seen any effect to that, having to pay up to 140 naira a litre, because this subsidy on kerosene simply didn’t exist in the 2012 and 2013 budgets.
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The other way of diverting money from national treasure was through the NNPC’s subsidiary company, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company which paid only $ 100 million for oil assets worth at least $6.8bn.
“It was extracting crude worth billions of dollars but yielding very little revenue for the treasury”, said Sanusi, claiming also that “of the $18.5bn in revenues [for 19 months] that the state oil company [NNPC] did not send to the government, about $12.5bn appears by my calculations to have been diverted”.
Thus, at least $0.65 billion were diverted monthly. Hence, it is easy to calculate that up to $40 billion could have been diverted during the outgoing president's five-year term, if that trend was continuous throughout his rule.
Earlier Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had spoken exclusively to Al Jazeera following his sacking by Goodluck Jonathan.
"I’m not afraid [to be jailed]… the only way this country will change is if people stop being intimidated by the state," he said.
Sanusi, who was suspended by President Jonathan over allegations of misconduct, has rejected the claims against him, insisting he was removed for highlighting alleged widespread corruption in the oil and gas sector.