Niger State Commissioner for Finance, Kpako Bello has said that there is probably more than $49.8 billion unaccounted for by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Central Bank governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi drew attention to the fact that the NNPC had not remitted billions of dollars in crude oil revenue to the Federation Accounts.
He was however rebuffed by his colleagues the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala who said that the money unaccounted for was much less and was actually in the neighbourhood of $12 billion.
Bello said there was probably more unremitted funds but no one had the boldness to question the FG further on the matter.
His words: “In December 2013, we gathered for Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) Meeting and nobody was there to answer us because there was no money and we had to wait for five days before the meeting held. This kind of problem resulted in many states, including us, not being able to pay salaries for five months.
“The truth is, we are afraid that if this trend continues this year, many states, including us in Niger, may find it hard to pay salaries.”
He added, “We have several reasons to believe what the Governor of Central Bank, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi, said that $49.8bn is ‘unaccounted for’, but it’s just that we have no boldness to come out and support him that huge figures even more than what he said are missing.”