News Column

How Nigerian Government Mismanaged Multi-Billion Naira Special Funds - Neiti Report

June 26, 2014

Bassey Udo



About N931.419 billion payments for fuel subsidy by PPPRA and NNPC for 2007 to 2010 not reconciled.

Ghana and the government of the oil-rich island of Sao Tome & Principe are yet to fully repay a $45 million (about N7.2 billion) loan advanced to them from the Stabilization Fund by the Obasanjo administration in 2007, a report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI has said.

In the report, which detailed how the Nigerian government mismanaged its special funds, NEITI also said that six oil producing states given another N34 billion loan from the Special Fund are yet to pay back more than N28 billion as at December 2011.

The agency stated these during the public presentation of two independent reports - the Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement Report, and the Solid Minerals Audit Report.

The Chairman, NEITI Board, Ledum Mitee, who made these disclosures while presenting highlights of the Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement Audit Report, said Ghana and Sao Tome & Principe still owed Nigeria more than N827 million as at December 2011.

Mr. Mitee, who did not state the conditions and purpose for which the two countries were given the loan by Nigeria, said the loans highlighted the level of abuses by the government of some special funds established to serve some special purposes. He did not also name the benefiting oil producing states.

The Stabilisation Fund was a special fund established by the Federal Government for transfers from excess oil revenues to be saved for the future to insulate the domestic economy from the shocks from unpredictable price movements at the international oil market.

However, NEITI said the Fund, like most other special funds, such as the Excess Crude Account, ECA, was deployed as a pool of sludge funds to satisfy objectives other than what they were intended.

Mr. Mitee said contrary to the objectives of the Fund, government used it as a pool to grant loans to take care of various expenditures, such as car loans to ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, for which N13 billion was advanced.

Other disbursements from the fund included about N87.72 billion to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for registration of voters.

The report also reviewed all direct allocations from government to covered agencies, including the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the Petroleum Trust Development Fund, PTDF, as well as the ecological fund allocation with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the administration and application of ECA.

Some startling findings from the report showed that the NDDC, which was established to manage the three per cent contributions of annual budgets of the oil producing companies for the development of the Niger Delta region, had not prepared audited accounts for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 as at July 2013, despite receiving a total allocation of N593.96 billion between 2007 and 2011.

The report also noted the duplication of about 22 projects with a total contract sum of N1.18 billion, after the payment of about N370.7 million as mobilisation fees, and the disbursement of about N156.81 million for interim payment certificates, IPCs, out of which only N93.09 million were recovered.

The report also observed that substantial work was not carried on significant number of projects valued at about N284.884 billion, despite payment of about N63.558 billion in mobilisation fees.

Similarly, the report noted the general allocation of about N7.442 billion to the nine state offices of the Commission for completion of small ticket projects, which could not be traced.

For the PPPRA, the report revealed that between 2007 and 2010, the petroleum products pricing agency received a revenue inflow of N655.245 billion from the Federation Account for its operations. This excluded its income for 2011, which was not captured by the report, as subsidy payment for the year was by the Debt Management Office, DMO.

Records of subsidy payments, according to the report, showed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had deducted for that purpose about N1.997 trillion between 2007 and 2011 from its payments to the Federation Account in respect of domestic crude allocations.

The report also showed that about N1.1296 trillion was spent on subsidy payments through the Petroleum Support Fund, PSF for the five years.

On the payment of subsidy for controversial household kerosene scheme, the report showed that except for 2010 and 2011, about N129.025 billion was spent on the supply of 1.6 billion litres of the commodity consumed between 2007 and 2009.

The report revealed that out of about N3.9trillion spent by the Federal Government on payment of subsidy between 2007 and 2011, the PPPRA claimed it spent about N1.927 trillion on marketers, while the NNPC said it also spent about N1.997 trillion, or 51 per cent for the same purpose.

The report pointed out that the reconciliation of the various payments captured by the CBN statements and the audited Financial Statements of the PPPRA showed significant variation of about N931.419 billion for the period between 2007 and 2010.

The report also found out that total transfers to excess crude account, ECA, for the period was about N8.53 trillion, with the highest transfer of N3.15 trillion also recorded in 2011. The figure however dropped below N1trillion in 2009, with only N339.5 billion recorded in the whole year

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Source: AllAfrica


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