Leading audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, in conjunction with the Auditor General of the Federation, has cleared state oil firm Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. of failing to remit $20 billion oil export money into the state accounts, NNPC said in a statement Thursday.
The forensic audit was ordered by the government following claims that NNPC had failed to remit $20 billion of oil money — part of the proceeds from crude sales between January 2012 and July 2013 — to the Federation Account.
The audit report was handed over to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday.
“The forensic audit report on the alleged missing $20 billion unremitted oil revenue carried out by … PricewaterhouseCoopers has absolved the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of culpability over the allegation of non-remittance of $20 billion,” NNPC spokesman Ohi Alegbe said.
NNPC, however, will need to refund $1.48 billion into the Federation Account which the corporation had collected on behalf of its upstream subsidiary, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company.
The $1.48 billion was paid to cover signature bonuses, taxes and royalties on assets transferred to NPDC, Alegbe said.
Alegbe said the oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke directed the NNPC to defray the signature bonuses, taxes and royalties in line with recommendations of the forensic audit report.
President Jonathan ordered the audit after the former governor of Nigeria’s central bank revealed in February 2014 that the corporation failed to remit $20 billion, part of the $67 billion it earned from crude sales during the period into the federation account.
The NNPC spokesman said Thursday that the corporation remitted a total $50.81 billion of crude oil export revenue during the period, while the balance was used to defray operational costs and fuel subsidies.
Oil accounts for more than 80% of Nigeria’s revenue.