NNPC boss asked to explain inconsistency in joint venture budget

Nov 01, 2004 01:00 AM

Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr. Funsho Kupolokun, will appear before the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to explain certain inconsistency in joint venture budget as well as other allegations of financial and ethical misdeeds against him.
In a letter dated October 27, 2004 signed by its chairman, Senator Lee Maeba, the committee wants Kupolokun to explain why he initially informed the committee and the public that the $ 3.2 bn provided by the Federal Government was sufficient to fund the joint venture budget against the committee's suggestion for more fund, but later travelled to Ghana with SPDC officials to borrow an extra $ 600 mm.

The committee specifically demanded to know who authorised the NNPC boss to outsource for the money and why he was so interested in the money. The NNPC, under Kupolokun, was also accused of inflating joint venture partners estimate in the 2004 budget by $ 100 mm (N 13.5 bn) as well as deducting between 5 % and 40 % from the London accounts of NNPC into a special account of the GMD.
Besides, Kupolokun is accused of using his position to influence lucrative contracts to special interest contractors at exorbitant terms.

Other matters which the Senate committee wants the NNPC boss' explanation include:
-- Why the entire Bonga field development projects especially FPSO contracts awarded by EMEC of UK have been described as the most fraudulent in the history of contracts?
-- Why there are too many foreigners in the oil industry doing jobs Nigerians can do. The figures have almost tripled since you assumed duty.
-- Why you collaborated with INTELS Nigeria in tariff fixing for logistic operations in the Oil and Gas Industry which had denied indigenous companies involvement in the lucrative logistics business in the industry and have defrauded the Federal Government of hundreds of millions of dollars.
-- Why there is widespread allegation that the process of remittance of money from crude oil sales is always resulting into loss of money due to improper exchange rate regime between offshore accounts and CBN crude accounts before final remittance to the Federal Government. How much do you know about this ugly development?
-- Before you assumed duty as GMD, there was the allegation of gross financial impropriety in the operation of some NNPC foreign accounts especially the one with HBSC London. That deductions ranging from 5 % to 40 % are being made and lodged in a special account for the GMD. There is no indication that the practice has stopped. What is the situation now?
-- How is the NNPC foreign account operated now? Give details of the structure of all the accounts for the past three years including details of the number of the accounts and the locations of the accounts.
-- What is the NNPC annual budget for the year 2004? Please give details.
-- Why did you refuse to submit your budget to the Committee? Could this be established as part of your alleged disregard for the National Assembly?

The committee chairman recalled that Kupolokun had earlier been invited to meet with it on October 27, an invitation he did not honour.
He, however, noted that "the committee in the said meeting which held successfully in spite of your absence, considered among other things the imperative of obtaining information pertaining to some critical issues in the 2004 budget which it has uncovered."

Source: LiquidAfrica
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