Skip to main content

Nigeria audit into ‘missing’ oil revenues arrives

Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president, has received a long awaited audit into billions of dollars of allegedly “missing” oil revenues just 11 days before a closely fought presidential election.
The auditor general was asked to release key findings of the audit “within a week”, Nigerian media reported.
The long delayed completion of the report coincides with a growing furore in the final days of campaigning over Mr Jonathan’s stewardship of Africa’s largest economy, which has been battered since last year by the falling price of oil, billions of dollars of foreign investment outflows and a depreciating currency.
The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), whose presidential candidate, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, has positioned himself as a strongman who can rein in corruption and end Nigeria’s terrorist insurgency, is calling for the report to be published in full ahead of the 14th February polls.
PwC, the international accountancy firm, was commissioned to carry out the audit last March after Lamido Sanusi, then governor of the Central Bank, publicly questioned discrepancies of more than $1bn per month between oil sales and income.
Mr Sanusi warned that the alleged shortfalls — up to $20bn between January 2012 and July 2013 — meant that the country’s foreign reserves were under pressure, even though Nigeria should have been benefiting from the soaring price of oil and saving against an eventual fall.
The allegations prompted a political storm in Nigeria. Following the revelations, Mr Jonathan suspended Mr Sanusi, now the Emir of Kano, before his term as governor ended last June.
The president described the PwC report, which was commissioned on the advice of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister for finance and the economy, as “voluminous”.
“The auditor general will have a look at it and within a week let us have key highlights because the media will want to the know the key findings,” he said, and pledged to push through oil industry reforms that have been held up in the National Assembly for years.
But the APC insists that the entire audit, rather than just “key findings”, should be made public. The party has made curtailing mismanagement and fraud a centrepiece of its campaign to prise power from the People’s Democratic Party in what are expected to be the closest elections since Nigeria’s transition from military rule in 1999.
“Our position is that a full report should be submitted to the public. Everyone should see it to reassure us that there is nothing they are hiding,” said Bukola Saraki, an APC senator who sat on the senate committee investigating Mr Sanusi’s allegations last year.
The controversy surrounding missing oil revenue was revived again last week when another former central bank governor, Charles Soludo, wrote a long public treatise alleging that an even larger sum than $20bn had been squandered, prompting a furious public response from Mrs Okonjo-Iweala.
Experts on Nigeria’s troubled oil industry said the audit is unlikely to provide final clarity over how much went missing because it had narrow terms of reference. It covers some of the money Mr Sanusi suggested was owed to the treasury but does not address opaque crude oil swaps — where crude oil is exchanged for refined petroleum imports without cash changing hands — or the legality of production agreements which Mr Sanusi contended had transferred control of revenues and profits from state-owned assets into the hands of private companies.
“The key questions relating to crude oil swaps and strategic alliance agreements that Sanusi raised were not on the table,” one expert said.
Credit: FT London (UK-04 Feb 2015)


Popular posts from this blog

PFM Act to guide local government authority borrowing

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The bill, Public Financial Management (PFM) Act 921 which has been passed into law by Parliament is to guide public institutions especially the local government authority borrowing. The law was pass on 3rdAugust, 2016
According to the law, local government authority, a public corporation or state-owned enterprise is liable for the debt and other obligations without recourse to Government, unless otherwise explicitly guaranteed by Government in accordance with this Act.
Madam Eva Esselba Mends, the Chief Economic Officer and Group Head of PFM at the Ministry of Finance told the Daily Express that the law involves a lot but it also give instruction to how state institutions can borrow especially with the  local government authority.
She mentioned that there is no specific law in place that gives direction as to what local authority can do when it comes to borrowing by the authority. Other public corporations sometimes borrow with huge amount for their operation but loca…

Vodafone fined a record £4.6 million for IT blunder

A top-up error left pay-as-you-go customers out of pocket and complaints were mishandled
Vodafone has been fined a record £4.6 million by the telecoms watchdog forleaving thousands of customers out of pocket in a disastrous IT blunder.
Ofcom found that the operator mishandled complaints and failed to pay into the accounts of more than 10,000 pay-as-you-go customers when they topped up their credit.
The top-up error, which cost customers £150,000 over 17 months in 2014 and 2015, stemmed from the moving of 28.5 million accounts to a new billing system.Errors in billing data and price plans caused so much protest that it made Vodafone the most complained-about mobile network in Britain.The technical issues were resolved by April 2015 and all accounts are now on the new system, Vodafone said.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said:“Vodafone’s failings were serious and unacceptable, and these fines send a clear warning to all telecoms companies.”
The company says that it has ref…

Enterprise Life inaugurates social centre for Kumasi SOS village

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Enterprise Life and Sanlam South Africa together with SOS Children’s Villages Ghana have jointly inaugurated a newly constructed social centre at the SOS Children’s Village, Kumasi in the Ashanti region.
The project, valued at GHc485,000.00 forms part of Enterprise Life and Sanlam-South Africa’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) to promote quality education and health for vulnerable children in Ghana.
The newly established social centre provides a suitable multi-purpose facility with a spacious auditorium among others to host different social activities related to child growth and development and will cater for both SOS children and students of the Hermann Gmeiner School.
The centre also offers the beneficiaries the opportunity to freely socialize and participate actively in educational oriented activities such as school concerts, art exhibitions and workshops.
The Executive Director of Enterprise Life, Mrs. Jacqueline Benyi expressed satisfaction that her outf…