By Udora Orizu

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts has uncovered how the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) paid N443 billion without appropriation.

The Chairman of the Senate, Senator Mathew Urhoghide who frowned at the development, summoned the corporation to explain the expenditure.

The invitation of the Committee was a result of the report of the Auditor General of Federation, 2016 report which was being considered by the Committee.

The audit query reads, “During the examination of Subsidy records provided by FAAC, it was observed that total subsidy paid during the year 2016 was N443,940,559,974.80. Oil Marketers- Arrears for 2014 Paid in 2015 -Payments during the Year 2016 without Interest 403,321,449,046.76 Interest & Forex Differential 40,619,110,928.04 totalling N443,940,559,974.80 Subsidy Deducted at Source By NNPC.

“This reflects continuing weaknesses in the budgeting process adopted by the Federal Government.”

The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, told the Committee that the NNPC will be in a better position to explain the extra-budgetary spending.

The Committee also summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria over disappearance of $9.5 million interest from Investment Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude.

The invitation was sequel to the 2016 Auditor General Report which accused the Central Bank of Nigeria failing to present documents supporting the investment for verification.

The Senate observed no letter supporting the investment of the fund and the actual amount invested were not made known.

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