FG begins probe of NIMASA, NNPC, NPA over dollar revenue

The Federal Government has uncovered agencies which pay it in naira after collecting revenue in dollar.

It has launched a probe into the agencies’ “fraudulent activities”, Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade told reporters yesterday after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN).

NEC comprises the vice president as chairman; the 36 state governors and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor are members.

Some of the agencies, Ayade said, were the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

Ayade, who was with Governors Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba), said Godwin Emefiele informed NEC of the development.

Ayade said investigations were ongoing.

He said, “A brief report on the Federal Government agencies remiting dollar revenue in naira into the Federation account was also given by the CBN governor.

“He said investigations are ongoing. Such agencies include but not limited to NNPC, NIMASA and NPA.”

Ayade said the Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary briefed the council on the excess crude account, which he put at $2.25 billion as at October 15.

On the grant of provisional loans to states based on collaterisation of the Excess Crude Account (ECA), the governor said: “The CBN governor briefed that 27 states have made request for the N10 billion facility and it is currently being processed.

“He has called on the affected states to complete all necessary documentation for the money.”

According to Ayade, as at Thursday (yesterday), not all states had indicated interest in the ECA collaterised loan.

The vice president, he said, also briefed council on the detail of the refund on excess expenses incurred by states.

All the states that have followed the right procedure and due process in incurring expenses, he said, were being processed for refund.

Ayade said there was an update on states affected by flooding, adding that the vice president confirmed that the government is doing everything to assist them.

Mimiko said the bail out funds would not be enough for states to settle salary arrears.

According to him, there is no plan to divert the bailout fund for other purposes.

On flooding, Mimiko said: “The detail was not discussed as per what individual states should be doing. But there is no question about the fact that individual states are customising their responses depending on the level and implication of the flood that has been experienced.

“What council discussed was the mechanism whereby the Federal Government will come up with a holistic assistance.

“We have not discussed the detail; the detail may be discussed at the next meeting but it does not mean that the states are not intervening to mitigate the disaster.”

Tambuwal said his state would relocate some of its flood-ravaged communities.

He said, “In any case, the Federal Government is working hand in hand with the states in ensuring that this challenge is actually addressed.

For example, I am sure the Federal Government will use the instrumentality of ecological fund to support states as has been the case in the past.

“In Sokoto State, we are planning to come up with the strategy of harvesting the water, treating and establishing some new dams that will serve as proactive measures that will prevent the flooding from continuing in the years to come.” 

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