The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has denied having in its custody a $3.8 billion subsidy fund.The denial followed a resolution by the Senate on Tuesday to probe the operation of an alleged Fuel Subsidy Under-recovering Fund in the region of that sum and believed to be run by the corporation.
NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, yesterday in Abuja said at the peak of fuel scarcity late last year, the National Assembly had urged the oil agency to stem the tide.
Consequently, he disclosed that NNPC initiated the move to raise a revolving fund of $1.05 billion since the corporation was, and is still, the sole importer and supplier of crude products in the country.According to him, ever since, the fund had been domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, stating that at no time was it in the custody of the NNPC.
Ughamadu said the money, dubbed the National Fuel Support Fund, has been jointly managed by the NNPC, CBN, Federal Ministry of Finance, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OGF), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
Also yesterday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said the stability in the nation’s oil and gas sector added over $20 billion to its foreign reserves.According to statistics from the CBN, the reserves rose significantly to about $47.37 billion in May before declining to $45.83 on August 31, 2018.
CBN Godwin Emefiele had said as of October 2016, it was hovering around $23 billion due to the haemorrhaging of foreign exchange.Speaking on the progress of the sector, Kachikwu noted that the current strength of the nation’s reserves was the effect of the stabilised supply of oil and gas, especially through the peace deal secured in the Niger Delta.He also lauded the decision by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to exempt Nigeria from output cuts earlier in the year.