Senate directs Accountant General to probe $18b NLNG dividend

The Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) has directed the Accountant General of the Federation Mr.Ahmed Idris to investigate the payment of the sum of $18,323,032,261.03(over $18billion) as dividend from Nigerian investment in the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) between 2004 and 2020.
The chairman gave the directives following disclosures from NLNG officials during the 5-Day Senate Committees on Finance and National Planning consideration of the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
The Accountant General was mandated to investigate among other things if the amount was actually remitted to NNPC, how much was actually remitted to the Federation Account, if there was any deduction by NNPC, how much was deducted and who authorized the deductions and the exchange rates applied for the amount that was remitted over the years under consideration.
Mrs. Eyono Fatai –William, the General Manager (External Relations and Sustainable Development) of NLNG has presented a financial summary of the company from 1999-2019 indicating that it had paid a dividend of over $18 billion to Nigeria from 2004-2019 stressed that NLNG is committed to a culture of transparency and integrity.
The figures of dividend contained in her summary were as follows:
2011($2,509,780,000.00), 2012($2,768,990.00),
2013($1,260,704,340.00), 2014($1,389,908,436.93), 2015($1,043,764,965.12), 2016($356,126,898.440,2017($798,140,840.45), 2018($904,498,502.96)and 2019($915,645,702.33).
When Senator Adeola inquired from the Accountant General of the Federation if he can confirm the payment of the humongous dividends to the Federation Account, he said it was difficult to determine with any certainty immediately as the dividend was usually paid to NNPC who are the representative of Nigeria in the company.
The Chairman therefore directed the Accountant General to investigate the payment and report back to the Senate in two weeks.
Nigeria through NNPC have about 53% shareholding in Nigeria LNG Limited.

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