Nigerian President orders forensic audit of NNPC, missing billions

March 13, 2014 | Management, Nigeria

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

Lagos – Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a forensic audit of the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the $20 billion allegedly missing from the petroleum earnings of Africa’s biggest oil producer.

The presidency’s announcement follows weeks of public uproar and outrage expressed online by Nigerians complaining that previous investigations of billions in missing oil revenue and public funds have been shelved with no one held accountable and no money recovered since the Buhari era as petroleum minister in the 1970s.

Suspended Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Lamido Sanusi presented evidence last month to the National Assembly that he said showed the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) failed to remit $20 billion that it owed to federal government coffers. The NNPC authorities have repeatedly denied Sanusi’s allegations.

The presidency also denied charges by Lamido Sanusi that the money has gone to a pro-government cabal to fund the February 2015 presidential and legislative elections. The statement dated Wednesday revealed that President Jonathan has given authorisation for “reputable international firms” to carry out the audit, the presidency said, without naming the companies.

The statement further repeated that Sanusi’s suspension last month was unconnected to his whistle-blowing and insisted his charges about the “phantom missing funds” are unfounded.