Nigerian opposition push for probe of oil company to douse national controversy of insolvency

chinanigeriaoilrefineryAPA, Abuja (Nigeria) As controversy trailed the solvency of the Nigeria-owned oil conglomerate and cash cow, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), a coalition of opposition parties, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), is pushing for the probe of the corporation.

CNPP on Friday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to set up an independent panel to investigate activities of the Corporation to determine its financial viability and transparency in the management of the country’s oil money.

In statement received on Friday in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of CNPP, Mr Osita Okechukwu, said the probe should start from 1999 when Nigeria’s democracy was restored.

Nigeria’s junior minister of finance, Remi Babalola, had raised the alarm that the corporation was broke and could not meet its financial obligations to the government, a statement promptly denied by the corporation as well as the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The corporation which was deemed to owe the government more than US$3 billion had in turn accused the government of owing it well above US$100 billion.

The ding dong talk had assumed national debate before Babalola blew the whistle on Tuesday but was countered by his employers, the FEC.

CNPP said the panel to probe NNPC was necessary due to the serial outcry of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) over the refusal of NNPC to remit excess of oil revenue to the Federation Account, which he said was a matter enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

It also said President Jonathan had a few weeks ago, ordered the Ministry of Finance to audit the NNPC account, adding that the public disagreement between the Corporation and Ministry of Finance showed that the NNPC account was secretive.

The statement said the disparity in the account of the NNPC showed that only a high powered independent probe could save Nigerians from monumental corruption.

It said CNPP was concerned about the harsh tune flying between NNPC and the Federal Ministry of Finance, over the alleged bankruptcy of the Corporation.

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