"Respect the Law": Atiku Slams Tinubu for Directing NNPC to Handover Revenue Accounts to CBN

"Respect the Law": Atiku Slams Tinubu for Directing NNPC to Handover Revenue Accounts to CBN

  • Atiku Abubakar has commented on the alleged transfer of crude oil revenue account to the CBN from the NNPCL
  • The former vice president said the action was an arbitrary order capable of undermining the operational independence of the NNPCL
  • He, therefore, suggested that NEITI should monitor bank accounts for crude sales proceeds to enhance transmission

Former presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed his opinion on the alleged transfer of crude oil revenue accounts to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Atiku Weighs in on NNPC's Alleged Transfer of Revenue to CBN, Suggests Ways to Improve Transparency
Atiku Abubakar said the alleged presidential directive violates the NNPCL's legal standing. Photo Credit: Atiku Abubakar
Source: UGC

In a post on his X account, he stated that the action was not legal in its application.

Legit.ng earlier reported that the CBN will now take over the management of the revenue accrued from oil sales from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), based on a directive by the president.

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Report claims NNPC deliberately moved revenue accounts to CBN, gives reasons

Meanwhile, in another report, Daily Trust claimed that the NNPCL offered to move its accounts to the apex bank to support the CBN's liquidity management objective.

A violation of multiple principles

Weighing into the issue, Atiku said regardless of the benefits of the new arrangement, the presidential directive violated the NNPCL's legal standing.

He claimed it was an arbitrary directive that could compromise the NNPCL's operational autonomy.

He noted that the action also violated the public administration principle of due process because state-owned businesses are exempted from arbitrary instructions and have complete control over their finances.

The ex-vice president added that Sections 53 to 65 of the Act contained comprehensive provisions made by the PIA for the creation, organisation, management, and functioning of the NNPCL as a stand-alone limited liability company.

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He said:

“The government must, therefore, respect the provisions of the law and allow the NNPCL to run as an independent company based on sound commercial objectives and in line with international best practices and standard principles of corporate governance.
“Only then would the new NNPCL grow into a formidable institution with track records, requisite technical and financial capacity, and readiness to operate in public space.

According to Atiku, any attempt to compromise the NNPCL's operational independence would make it more difficult for the petroleum industry to draw in investments and become globally relevant.

He also cited that the Central Bank Act of 2007 does not give the CBN the authority to oversee the operations of state-owned businesses, whether public or private or to create and implement internal controls and audits.

As stipulated by the current legislation, he advocated that the CBN should be permitted to carry out its essential duties.

Read also

Tinubu must not bow to corruption despite challenges, says IMPI

Atiku proposes way forward

Atiku proposed that the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) track the bank accounts for crude sales proceeds, such as those at Morgan Stanley, and oversee the entire crude sales conversion cycle to enhance accountability and transparency in the operations of the NNPCL.

He also suggested that the NNPCL board members should be more carefully chosen and reconstituted to include, if requested, representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), among other beneficial initiatives to improve openness.

NNPC explains why it borrowed N3.3bn

Legit.ng earlier reported the NNPCL explained the controversial $3.3 billion crude oil pre-payment loan it signed with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in 2023.

Femi Soneye, the chief corporate communications officer of NNPCL, disclosed this in an interview with journalists.

He said the 'Project Gazelle' deal was ultimately geared to provide dollar financing to the federal government.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Zainab Iwayemi avatar

Zainab Iwayemi (Business Editor) Zainab Iwayemi is a business journalist with over 5 years experience reporting activities in the stock market, tech, insurance, banking, and oil and gas sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.sc) degree in Sociology from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. Before Legit.ng, she worked as a financial analyst at Nairametrics where she was rewarded for outstanding performance. She can be reached via zainab.iwayemi@corp.legit.ng

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