The federal government illegally diverted $1.05 billion (N378 billion at N360 to a dollar) sourced from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividend funds to secretly fund subsidy payment on petroleum products, PREMIUM TIMES can report today.
The diversion details are coming amidst revelations from accusations the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has a $3.5 billion subsidy fund it is spending without appropriation by the National Assembly.
In October, a motion by Biodun Olujimi, (Ekiti-PDP) had triggered debates in the National Assembly on the purported $3.5 billion fund alleged to be managed by the state oil company.
But the NNPC said it had no such fund in its custody. Rather, it said it has a $1.05 billion fund it is using to stabilise petrol supply and distribution in the country.
While the NNPC, through its spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, initially claimed the corporation sourced the fund from an ‘international agency’, Maikanti Baru, NNPC group managing director, admitted last week that the money was sourced from the NLNG dividend fund.
Documents in the possession of this newspaper have now shown that the fund was sourced at the height of the fuel scarcity crisis between last December and January and was secretly diverted into payments on petrol supply and distribution.
The funds came from dividends paid to the federal government by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company, a firm in which the government owns 49 percent equity.