Who embezzled our $20 billion, na ghost?

I was flabbergasted, befuddled and dumbfounded to read that someone in NNPC had forgotten to remit $20 billion US dolls, I mean US doll$ – not Zimbabwean dollars o – in the national treasury. Shuo! ‘Wonders – as my snuff sniffing, newspaper reading, chewing stick chewing retired uncle Zebbie would say – shall never end!

I was talking to myself the other day and I kept wondering when money inNigeria will stop developing legs and disappearing into thin air like one government-owned ship that disappeared in broad daylight, never to be found again. Shior!

I keep pitying those political ogas at the top who give money to their minions to buy votes for. You always hear that the second group didn’t disburse all the money they were given, but if you click on Nairaland, you begin to see pictures of this and that politician posing with his babe and the latest Bugatti Veryon he just bought for her. I even hear that these politicians have gone so plc that when they buy mansions and big jeeps for themselves or theirs, they pay in dollars. Chei, Sotay Emma my friend come they ask me say, “When e go reach person turn to ‘serve’ and cut im own slice from national cake? Ol boy e!”

What about the hidden monies stashed away by public servants being discovered in bank safe deposit boxes from here to Karanamuda?

Is alright. That is how I was overjoyed to hear that Oga Jona has ordered release of the  Pricewater housecoopers(PWC) forensic audit report on our missing, or is it phantom $20 billion dollars that ex CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, now King of Kano, said is missing from our national cake.

When Sanusi was Central Bank Governor, he told the nation that, based on what he had calculated, NNPC sold $67billion worth of crude oil between January 2012 and July 2013. He then said that as great keeper the nation’s purse, CBN had only received $47bn of this amount; so up to $20bn more that should be there was nowhere to be found.

People began to yelp, “We no go gree o, we no go gree”. And, what did our outgoing Oga at the top, Oga Goodluck Jonathan then commissioned Pricewaterhousecoopers to do a forensic audit to find out whose quick fingers may have ‘disappeared’ our money.

So, I was elated when I heard that the report has been released. Now we can find out who is the thief of our money. So I quickly began to study the PWC report.

Note that PwC was asked to investigate all money due to the federation from crude oil sales to see what had been remitted and if there was any monies outstanding.

And what did it find? That the total revenues for the period in question stood $69bn and not $67bn as claimed by Sanusi. So, after much mathematics there was still a gap of about $20bn unaccounted for as before.

Well, PWC found out that NNPC spent $18.53 billion on operational costs, kerosene and petrol subsidies, without authorisation from the National Assembly. Eighteen billion wetin!?

From the report I also understand that NNPC also saved part of the money for ‘the good of the nation’ (tell me, when did NNPC become a bank, or was I sleeping when it suddenly metamorphosed intoone?).

On a serious note, who gave NNPC the power to withhold almost 30% of our money and spend as it deems fit, not even telling us such money exists? Someone please explain that to me o, because I don’t understand.

The audit also found that the firm overpaid the government by almost $750 million within the 19 months probed, but it recommended a refund of $1.5 billion to government coffers! Men, this NNPC, no wonder I once heard arumour of a couple thatquickly left their wedding reception to go take an employment test there. The audit covered January 2012 to July 2013.

Incoming disciplinarian, Muhamadu Buhari pledged to probe the allegation all over again and crackdown if he discovers any sign of corruption in the energy company once in office. A few days after that, outgoing Presido, Goodluck Jonathan released the audit.

But here goes my headache with Nigerian ways of fighting corruption: Just as I thought we were getting close tofinding out who took the cookie from the cookie jar I read the contents of a letter PWC had written to the Auditor General of the Federation stating that they cannot vouch for the integrity of their audit! Where are those tranquilizers!

The PWC letter stated: ““The procedures we performed did not constitute an examination or a review in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards or attestation standards”.

The firm confessed that with the exception of the Deputy Group Managing Director/ Group Executive Director Finance and Accounts of NNPC, the Auditor-General for the Federation, and the Minister of Petroleum Resources, it did not discuss the findings of the report with anyone else! Onomatopia!

Please how much did the Nigerian government pay this firm to produce this kain report? So, in the end, it all boils down to waiting for Buharito commission another audit before we can begin to know what is what. Na wa o.

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