“I will Sue”: Falana Says NNPC Owes $34.2bn in Unremitted Funds to FG, Asks Finance For Recovery

“I will Sue”: Falana Says NNPC Owes $34.2bn in Unremitted Funds to FG, Asks Finance For Recovery

Human Rights lawyer Femi Falana has said that the NNPC owes the Federal Government about $34.2 billion in unremitted funds

Falana said that the said amount was a dividend paid by NLNG to NNPC from 2019 to date

The lawyer asked the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, to direct NNPC to remit the funds to the Federation Account, or he will sue

Pascal Oparada has more than a decade of experience covering Tech, Energy, Stocks, Investments and Economy

Amid the shortage of foreign exchange in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is allegedly holding onto N$34.2 billion in unremitted funds to the Federation Account.

Human Rights lawyer, Activist, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, wrote to the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, to direct the NNPC to remit the said amount to the federation account.

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Femi Falana, NNPC, Wale Edun, NLNG
Femi Falana, Minister of Finance, Wale Edun and NNPC CEO, Mele Kyari Credit: Anadolu agency
Source: Getty Images

Falana writes FG to seek the recovery of NLNG payments to NPPC

In a letter dated October 24, 2023, the senior lawyer recalled examples where funds were said to have been remitted by the NLNG to the NNPC.

Falana said from 2004 to 2021, the NLNG paid about $32.2 billion to the Federal Government through the NNPC.

He said he might be forced to initiate legal action at the Federal High Court to recover the amount from NNPC if the minister fails to ask that the money be sent to the Federation account.

Falana threatens court action against FG, NNPC

According to the lawyer, he will also ask the court to direct NLNG to remit dividends generated by Nigeria to the Federation Account immediately.

Falana said that on April 27, 2019, the Senate Committee on Public Accounts held a public hearing on the revenue generation drive from 2021-2023 MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

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Tribune reports that Falana said that at the hearing, the then NLNG General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatai-Williams, revealed that from 1999-2019, the firm paid over $18 billion in dividends to Nigeria via the NNPC.

Falana said that Fatai-Williams disclosed that the NLNG also paid $9 billion in taxes to the Nigerian government from 2011 to date and that $15 billion has been remitted for feed gas to the national petroleum body since the beginning of the company.

Falana said:

Alleged funds received by NNPC from NLNG to date

Falana revealed in the letter that in 2020 and 2021, NNPC received $545.13 million and $722.44 million as dividends from the NLNG.

The rights activist said the total amount for the two years is $1.267 billion, which remains unremitted to the Federation Account by the NNPC.

He said the company withholds $34.2 billion from the Federation Account, stating that any law does not back the decision to hold back the amount.

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“We are compelled to request you to direct the NNPCL to remit the sum of $34.2 billion to the Federation account as the sum was received on behalf of the Government of Nigeria from the NLNG from 2004-2021.
“However, if you fail to accede to our humble request, we shall not hesitate to initiate legal proceedings at the Federal High Court for the immediate recovery of $34.2 billion from the NNPCL. We shall also pray the court to direct the NLNG to remit dividends earned by Nigeria to the Federation Account.

NNPC pays subsidy from NLNG dividends

In August, the NNPC announced that it secured a $3 billion oil swap deal from the Afrexim Bank to boost Forex liquidity in Nigeria and to act as a buffer against the subsidy removal.

Legit.ng reported that a document by the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) reveals that the NLNG paid about $275 million as dividends to Nigeria through NNPC.

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In comparison, NNPC used about $220 million at N770 per dollar to pay for petrol subsidy and held back $55 million.

“From 46m to 9m litre per day:" NNPC says petrol consumption has crashed by 30 per cent

Legit.ng earlier reported that the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has revealed that petrol consumption has fallen 30% in Nigeria.

Kyari announced during a media briefing in Abuja where the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, revealed that Nigeria is planning to woo domiciliary account holders to utilize their funds in Nigeria.

Kyari noted that a reduction in petrol consumption is attributed to the subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu.

Source: Legit.ng

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Pascal Oparada (Business editor) Pascal Oparada is a Mass Communications Graduate from Yaba College of Technology with over 10 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in reputable media organizations such as Daily Independent, TheNiche newspaper, and the Nigerian Xpress. He is a 2018 PwC Media Excellence Award winner. Email:pascal.oparada@corp.legit.ng

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