Audit Question: Reps Reject Kyari’s Submission… Threaten to Stop Arrest Warrant for NNPC Subsidiaries

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The House of Representatives yesterday told NNPC Limited that it must produce before it the executives of its 17 subsidiaries charged by a report by the Federation’s auditor general with financial breaches between 2014 and 2019.
Speaking at the resumed investigative hearing on the report of the Auditor General, Chairman of the House Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Oluwole Oke said that NNPC’s action to protect its subsidiaries amounted to hiding something from Nigerians.
But NNPC Group Managing Director Mele Kyari told the committee that the company was hiding nothing from Nigerians, while dismissing earlier media reports that around 107 million barrels of crude oil could not be accounted for. 2018.
Oke said the House was reluctant to invoke the provisions of the constitution to issue an arrest warrant against the leaders of the subsidiaries who refused to appear before parliament to answer questions arising from the AuGF report.
Reacting to the GMD’s statement that it would take responsibility for the actions of the subsidiaries, Oke said: “With all due respect, parliament does not agree with you as we are guided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Legislative Chambers Privileges Act and our rules.
“Yes, you have submitted a consolidated account. But the Auditor General, who submitted his report to us, carried out an audit in accordance with Article 85 of the Constitution and audited the accounts of these subsidiaries, published the report and l submitted to parliament.
“The report specifically mentions these subsidiaries and in doing so, parliament is bound to take into account the questions and observations contained in the report. Furthermore, the Parliament may also, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, invite anyone to testify before this Parliament.
“If a particular agency under your direction is mentioned, we cannot shave its head in its absence. They must be here. Yes, you have rendered your account which is before us. But these subsidiaries must appear before this parliament to answer the questions raised by the Auditor General of the Federation. They must answer by their father’s name.
“With all due respect, the NNPC is not in a position to dictate to Parliament how it conducts its business. We need to change Nigerians’ impression of NNPC. We have listened to the comments of some governors on the NNPC and we need to change the narrative by telling Nigerians that the NNPC operates transparently.
“Unless and unless you have something to hide, then you can continue to protect these affiliates. But they have to come before the Nigerians and tell them about the funds in their kitty. They have to come here and answer questions about the anomalies that the Auditor General has found in their operations. This is our position.
“We don’t want to go through the process of invoking the necessary laws by issuing an arrest warrant. We believe we can chew the jawbone; which we can discuss because we are all at the service of Nigerians.
“These companies are your subsidiaries and while we are to rely on your assertion that they are registered under CAMA, it further attests to the fact that they should appear here on their own. That is not even the question, but the Auditor General of the Federation has precisely listed the names of these companies. This is our position. So make a date when you bring them.
“Your purpose in coming today is to produce these affiliates because you wrote that these agencies are under your direction. This is why we have asked you to provide the leadership of these subsidiaries. This is what we expected today.
“If they are here, they must come forward and the Auditor General will be asked to read the questions which they will answer, because the questions have not been addressed to you in person. They were directed to these subsidiaries. We dispute your position. They have to appear here because it is their parliament. If they’re not there, so be it. That’s why we said you should give us a date to bring them.”
In his contribution, Hon. Chinyere Igwe (PDP, Rivers) said that with the admission of the GMD, he cannot legally replace the subsidiaries since he admitted that they are registered under the Companies Act and related matters and operated as individual companies.
He said that “by clarifying the GMD’s statement that these companies are fully registered, this means that they are full entities under the provision of the CAC Act. The GMD is not entirely responsible for this. I therefore request that the GMD allow them to stand as he cannot speak for them.
“Any society that does not have laws, there will be anarchy and anarchy, the big killing the small, just as we are right, Russia is killing Ukraine. On this basis, the constitution is the basic standard by which all Nigerians report.This is what gave birth to the NNPC, the parliament, the Auditor General.
“By implication, parliament did not write the auditor general’s report. But these Nigerian-owned companies have refused to do what they are supposed to do. We did not ask you to come and tell us how many barrels of crude were removed or how many were stolen or who stole them.
“There are silent questions raised by the Auditor General that he must tell us. We are not doing anything out of the ordinary, but we are content to be guided by the fundamental standards in accordance with the constitution. »
In his remarks, NNPC Limited Group Managing Director Mele Kyari said, “First, let me clarify one issue. NNPC has nothing to hide. We have nothing to hide from Nigerians. In view of this, we have released the same audited account you have for Nigerians to see, read and comment on.
“These accounts are a complete reflection of all our transactions, including our subsidiaries. So we are not hiding anything from Nigerians.
“I agree with you that we can be more transparent. Can we do something different from this? Absolutely yes. Are we doing enough? Yes, we are doing more than enough. No national oil company in the world publishes its audited statement of accounts. No company publishes its monthly report like we do.
“Therefore, I expect you to congratulate us on the fact that we go beyond expectations in terms of transparency and accountability. We owe it to Nigerians because it is their business and we sincerely believe that these companies belong to over 200 million Nigerians, we are accountable to them and we must be transparent in every way possible.
“But while we do that we also have to recognize that we are running a business on their behalf that business has rules and responsibilities and part of that is having a report of that nature that the auditor general approves by the law so that they deliver to”.
On the committee’s decision, the GMD said: ‘It’s still very fair because I know it’s a very fair parliament. You are the representatives of the people and therefore you have the responsibility to protect the people. You also have the responsibility to allow us to speak”.
Reacting to the reported disappearance of 107 million barrels of crude oil, Kyari said, “I believe this parliament represents all Nigerians collectively. We may have individual differences, but we represent all the interests of Nigerians. Nigeria’s image is very important.
“Two weeks ago, it was all over the media that 107 million barrels of crude were stolen or hijacked. You will not appreciate the harm of the bad image this has created for our country.
“Our lending partners told me this was the wrong approach and that they would not lend to us without clarifying the issues. The Auditor General is here and we are in the same country. We are all serving this country. You can’t say something like that without it having an effect and if we don’t respond to that it will be obvious that this is what is happening in our country.
“Nobody stole 107 million barrels of crude oil. If for some reason that wasn’t captured well by the Auditor General, that’s another matter. So this company is not hiding nothing to anyone and we will appear before you as instructed next week, but please keep in mind that we have nothing to hide.

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