The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Bukola Saraki, said on Thursday that the committee did not absolve the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of any wrong doing in the report submitted to the upper chamber on Wednesday.
Saraki, who is representing Kwara Central at the red chamber, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Bankole Omishore, maintained that as an active member of the committee, the report actually indicted the minister and the NNPC.
Saraki said, “Though I could not attend the last meeting of the committee, I have been very active in the investigation, nothing significant has changed to suggest clearing anybody.
“I can say on behalf of the committee that these media reports bear no correlation to the content of the Senate Committee report and I would urge the public to disregard it in its entirety.
“The committee is yet to receive the report on the forensic audit and independent analysis on the subject clearly indicates we have a lot of grounds to cover in order to determine the level of culpability or otherwise of the agency on the alleged non-committal.
“Therefore, to suggest any clearance for anybody at this stage is out of the question. I will further advise that the media should wait for the Senate to release the details of the committee report to the public before they jump into spurious conclusions.”
The committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, a former Governor of Kaduna State, had in the report submitted on Wednesday, described as untrue, allegations by the Suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, that $49.8 billion was missing from the federation account.
The committee also said total crude oil lifting from January 2012 to July 2013 was $67 billion and not $65 billion as Sanusi had alleged.
Sanusi, had written President Goodluck Jonathan, alleging that the NNPC had failed to remit $49.8 billion being part of the income it generated from sales of oil.
But the committee stated that all the agencies which made presentations had agreed after reconciliation that $47 billion out of the $67 billion had been credited to the Federation Account, leaving $20 billion to be accounted for.
The report had added that “the committee could not see how the figure of $49.8 billion was arrived at by the CBN Governor in the first instance.
“That the CBN Governor at the first hearing had forwarded the figure of $12 billion as monies to be reconciled and changed his position to $20 billion at subsequent hearing.
“At the conclusion of his written submission, Sanusi posited that it could be $20 billion, $12 billion, $10.8n billion or anything in between.”