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Why NNPCL Didn’t Publish 2022 Audit Report — Kyari

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The Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mele Kyari, has explained why the company failed to release its Audited Financial Statement for 2022.

According to Kyari, the financial report was not released because the NNPCL did not have a substantive board of directors as of June 2023 when the report was ready.

A statement by the NNCL Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Olufemi Soneye, on Saturday evening, quoted Kyari as speaking during a meeting with the Deputy Executive Director, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Mr Bady Baldé on Thursday.

Kyari had said that “NNPCL would have released its Audited Financial Statement for 2022 since June 2023 but could not do so because it had no substantive Board of Directors at that time, adding that the AFS will be published on the company’s website in the next few days”.

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The statement added that Kyari “expressed disappointment with the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative for going public with its report that NNPC Ltd failed to remit some monies into the Federation Account instead of seeking clarification on any perceived gap in its assessment.”

The NNPCL boss was said to have explained at the meeting that the company “was holding no public funds back and that what NEITI reported as non-remittance was what was due to the company as payment for taking the burden of fuel subsidy on behalf of the Federal Government”.

Soneye informed that the EITI boss scored the NNPCL high in its latest global assessment, adding the delegation’s visit was to communicate the group’s findings in its recent global assessment to the company. said NNPC Ltd. fared very well among companies in the same category.

Baldé had added that “only Equinox of Norway fared better than NNPC Ltd. in the assessment”.

He was said to have noted that there was still room for NNPCL to improve, stressing that compliance with global EITI standards will help boost the company’s credibility.

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The EITI boss had also urged NNPC Ltd. to remain engaged to play an active role in its Nigerian unit, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

On his part, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, called for the reconstitution of the NNPC/NEITI Joint Committee on Reconciliation, stressing that the committee could help in straightening out any grey areas.

The PUNCH had reported that NEITI in September 2023 said the NNPCL did not pay approximately N2.8 trillion in taxes to the Federal Government in 2022.

In its 2021 Oil and Gas Industry Report’, NEITI stated that of about N3.5tn ($8.25bn at N448/$1 exchange rate in 2022) owed the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission during the period under review, NNPCL was owing more than 80 percent (N2.8tn) of the outstanding tax collectible revenues.

According to the report, the unremitted sum consisted of about $279m earned by the Federation from trial marketing under First Exploration and Production Joint Venture; $8m from Oil Mining License 116 operated by a subsidiary of NNPCL, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company; $871m unremitted domestic crude oil sales, and about $46m unremitted balance from the domestic gas proceeds account as of December 31, 2021.

 

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Terrorism: Court Frees Rivers APC Chieftain After Two Years

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A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has discharged and acquitted a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and Deputy Chairman of Youth Movement in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief Fubara Ohaka, of charges filed against him by the Federal government.

Ohaka had been standing trial on six counts of alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering, terrorism, dealing in illegal refining products without a licence, and conspiracy among other charges preferred against him since 2022 by the Federal government through the Department of State Services.

Delivering judgment in the matter, the trial judge, Justice Stephen Dalyop-Pam, held that the Federal Government failed to provide evidence to back its claims, hence failing to prove its allegations against the defendant.

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Our correspondent reports that Justice Dalyop-Pam agreed on no-case submission by the counsel for the defendant and thereby discharged and acquitted him.

Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, Ohaka expressed happiness that he has been vindicated, saying the judgment has put shame on the faces of all those who conspired to tarnish his image.

He said, “I’m happy that the judiciary has vindicated me today. I told the world that I never had any idea of the allegations against me, I am not a bunker, I have never sponsored any person to do bunkering,

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“Thanks to the judiciary who in its wisdom have reached to the root of the matter and proven to be the last hope of the common man.

“I want to thank those who stood by me in the time of trial, I’m happy that I never disappeared from them when I was told I was innocent of the allegations against me.

“Let me also use this medium to advise government agencies to always carry out proper investigation before engaging in legal battles, because if they had I would not have spent the number of months I spent in detention before the legal action that turned out in my favour today.”

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NLC Insists On Planned Protest, Knocks DSS

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has insisted that the planned protests against the prevailing economic situation in the country will hold contrary to the warning issued by the Department of State Services to shelve its protests.

The organised labour, on Monday, began mobilising its members for a nationwide protest slated for February 27 and 28 over the cost of living crisis in the country.

The Federal Government’s failure to fulfil its promises after the 14-day ultimatum by Labour, according to sources, will be met with a two-day nationwide protest already slated for February 27 and 28.

Reacting to the planned protests in a statement on Wednesday, the DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, urged the union to shelve the plan in the interest of peace and public order.

READ ALSO: Economic Hardship: CSO Gives FG Ultimatum, Threatens Nationwide Protest

The Secret Service urged the union to pursue dialogue and negotiation rather than engage in conduct that could heighten tensions.

However, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday evening, noted that the protests will still hold and questioned why the DSS had yet to execute the arrest of those planning to disrupt the protests.

We are concerned by the unsolicited advice of the Department of State Security to shelve our planned protest against the unprecedented high cost of living despite the indescribable suffering in the land, spiralling inflation, deepening poverty and the Naira at an exchange rate of N1,900 to the US Dollar.

“According to the Service, the planned protest should be shelved ‘in the interest of peace and public order’, pre-supposing that the action is intended to be violent and disruptive even when we have a history of peaceful protests’.

“More worrying is the new role the Service has assigned to itself, the chief spokesperson of the government.

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“We are equally worried that although the “Service is aware that some elements are planning to use the opportunity of the protest to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence and yet have not executed the arrest of these elements,” the NLC president said.

Ajaero noted that the NLC will not compromise the sovereignty or security of the country while assuring that the protests would be peaceful.

We are equally intrigued by the innuendos of the Service, their philosophy of “peace” and wild allegations and we want to reassure them that no one loves this country more than us and on our honour, we would never do anything that will compromise its sovereignty or security.

“Having said this, we would not have ourselves blackmailed or lied against by the Service. Our protest is a peaceful one against the unpardonable cost of living of which the unserviced personnel of the Service are also victims.

“We cannot fold our hands and pretend all is well. That will be a grievous conspiracy that history will not forgive,” he said.

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VIDEO: Give Tinubu Time To Get Things Done, Gowon Begs Nigerians

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A former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), has urged Nigerians to exercise patience with President Bola Tinubu’s administration, emphasizing that it’s premature to anticipate flawless outcomes at this stage.

Gowon spoke in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he had with Tinubu on Wednesday.

The former Head of State, who noted that he was visiting Tinubu for the first time after the latter’s inauguration, disclosed that discussions revolved around matters concerning peace and security within the West African sub-region.

Responding to inquiries about his advice to the President regarding the prevailing national circumstances, Gowon acknowledged the existing challenges but stressed that it’s too early to anticipate perfection.

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He said, “I was telling him that there’s no Nigerian leader that can get there, that will not get all of these, all that is being said about him. But certainly, there is no doubt about all that one has heard and seen from various media. I think the government is trying its best to deal with the various problems of the country.

“But with Nigerians, don’t worry, you will get criticised but people who get there know better than you know. I think all one can say to Nigerians is that they have to give the President time to get things done and it is too early to sort of say a perfect result will be achieved. That is my opinion.

“At least, if I remembered, I was told that I was too slow, fighting the war and that probably Nigeria would not make it and we should seek for discussion. Well, did we do it or not? They probably did not know the problem there on the ground there.”

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