NNPC debunks $3.5bn subsidy fund


State oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Wednesday refuted allegations that it has in its custody $3.5 billion subsidy fund.

The corporation in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, noted that at the heat of the shortage of products supply at the close of last year, the National Assembly had asked the NNPC to do everything possible to stem the hiccups.

He said that accordingly, NNPC initiated the move to raise a revolving fund of $1.05 billion, since the corporation was, and still is, the sole importer and supplier of white products in the country.

Ughamadu said ever since, the fund had been domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), adding that at no time was it in the custody of the NNPC.

According to him, the fund, dubbed the National Fuel Support Fund, had been jointly managed by the NNPC, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF).

The NNPC spokesperson clarified that the NNPC did not independently spend a dime of the fund which he said was to ensure stability in the petroleum products supply in the country.

He said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the corporation was fully aware that it is only the National Assembly that has the statutory responsibility to appropriate on petroleum subsidy matters.”