President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said his administration would probe the claim by a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and now the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation failed to remit $20bn oil money to the federation account.
Buhari gave the hint while receiving a delegation of the All Progressives Congress elected officials and supporters from Adamawa State at his campaign office in Abuja. The President-elect, who spoke in Hausa expressed surprise that instead of probing the allegations by the former CBN governor, the Goodluck Jonathan-led Peoples Democratic Party administration chose to fire him.
He stated that since Sanusi’s claim was documented, his administration would take a look at it after the May 29 handover date.
Buhari said, “On the issue of corruption, I heard that some people have started returning money. I will not believe it until I see for myself.
“You all remember what the Emir of Kano talked about when he was the governor of the CBN. He said $20bn not N20bn was unaccounted for; they said it was a lie. Instead of investigating it, they sacked him. And God in his infinite mercy made him the Emir of Kano. In any case, that is what he wanted. And since this was documented, our administration will take a look at it.”
A management and accounting consultancy firm, PriceWaterHouse, was last year hired by the Federal Government to carry out a forensic audit of the NNPC following Sanusi’s allegation.
Sanusi had written a letter to Jonathan in September 2013 that $49bn was not remitted to the Federation Account by the NNPC.
But following the controversy generated by the letter, a committee was set up by the government to reconcile the accounts of the corporation.
Sanusi later recanted and said the unremitted fund was $12bn. He later changed the figure to $20bn.
PwC, in its report stated that while the total gross revenues generated from crude oil liftings amounted to $69.34bn between January 2012 and July 2013 and not $67bn as earlier stated by the Senate Reconciliation Committee, what was remitted to the federation account was $50.81bn and not $47bn.
Within the $69.34bn, the audit report revealed that $28.22bn was the value of domestic crude oil allocated to NNPC, adding that the total amount spent on subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit amounted to $5.32bn.
The PwC report read in part, “Signature bonus, Petroleum Profit Tax and Royalty yet to be paid by NPDC is $2.22bn. Total cash remitted into the federation accounts in relation to crude oil liftings was $50.81bn and not $47bn as earlier stated by the Senate Reconciliation Committee for the period January 2012 to July 2013.
“Based on the information available to PwC, and from the above analysis, the firm submitted that NNPC and NPDC should refund to the federation accounts a minimum of $1.48bn.”
Last week, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, disclosed that the NNPC had started refunding the unremitted $1.48bn into the federation account.
But while expressing gratitude to the visiting delegation, Buhari said his administration would work in tandem with the manifesto of the APC.
He listed priority areas to include security of lives and property, the economy and job creation as well as the war against corruption.
On the issue of security, he described the menace of Boko Haram as purely the evil of terrorism which has no link to religion.
Buhari said, “ We thank God that it is now evident that this problem of Boko Haram is not a religious problem. It is purely terrorism. I said it earlier that all the religions we practise,especially Islam and Christianity, do not support terrorism.
“So,anyone who goes and kills people in the mosque, church, market, motor park or school either does not know what Allahuakbar (God is great) means or does not believe in it. This is terrorism. It is our hope that God gives us the power to end this.”
The former Head of State said that unemployment must be urgently tackled because it constituted a threat to Nigeria’s survival.
He explained that from his campaign stops in 35 out of the nation’s 36 states, the sheer number of jobless youths they saw signposted clearly that there was a serious crisis at hand.
Buhari said, “From the airports to the streets, we saw youths running after our vehicles sweating. Some were walking the whole distance to wherever we were driving to. Whether they went to school or did not go to school, it was evident that they don’t have jobs. This is one of the biggest problems we have in Nigeria today.
“Most of our youths,who form 60 per cent of our population in Nigeria are without jobs. These people who are still bubbling with energy will constitute a danger to this nation if they don’t get jobs.”
The President-elect took a swipe at the outgoing Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government for ‘‘inflicting a lot of pains on Nigerians with its misrule.’’
He however said that the military deserved commendation for regaining many territories it hitherto lost to Boko Haram in the North-East.
Buhari said, “Among the worst atrocities committed against Nigeria by the PDP is what it has done to our military.
“It is our military that went to Burma; the same army that when I was commissioned second lieutenant, I did not spend three weeks before I found myself in Kinshasa (in Congo), then (the civil war) in Nigeria and Sierra Leone and did well. Now to say Nigerian soldiers failed to retake 14 local government areas out of 774 is unbelievable.
“For me who served in the military, I find it incomprehensible except if I go there to find out what happened. The kind of leadership brought upon us by the PDP whether it is documented or not, it can never be forgotten in our history.”
Buhari also decried the attitude of some Nigerian elite to the suffering of the masses.
He noted that Some of them “have built houses outside their states so that when trouble starts, they don’t even bother to take their bags before fleeing on Achaba (motorcycle).’’
Buhari lamented the fate of some Nigerians from the North-East who “do not know where their parents and children are because their houses have been burnt in cities like Bama, Michika, Mubi, Madagali and other places ” by Boko Haram insurgents.
The President-elect appealed to members of the legislature at the federal and state levels to give attention to matters that would benefit the nation and its people in all their deliberations.
He promised that the incoming APC-led Federal administration was determined to ensure that roads, schools and hospitals were built and made functional.
Buhari described Adamawa State as one of the few states in the North- East which still has arable land.
This, he said, was unlike his home state of Katsina where desertification has condemned a lot of people without formal education to a life of servitude.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and governor-elect of Adamawa State, Jibrilla Bindow, appealed to the President-Elect to help the state rebuild its institutions and reduce poverty and youth unemployment.