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“Missing” $20 Billion: Ex CBN Governor Sanusi Says Audit Report Doesn’t Exonerate NNPC



Emir sanusi-lamido Bella NaijaFormer Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and current Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, is still speaking out on the billions of dollars that NNPC allegedly failed to remit to the federation account.

Sanusi says that contrary to some people’s belief that the recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit exonerated NNPC, the report actually proves NNPC’s complicity.

He expressed this opinion via an article he wrote published in Financial Times. Here are excerpts:

Just over a year ago President Goodluck Jonathansuspended me from my position as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria after I questioned an estimated $20bn shortfall in oil revenues due to the treasury from the state oil company. As I said then, you can suspend a man, but you cannot suspend the truth. The publication last month of a PwC audit into the “missing billions” brings us a step closer to it.

When I was central bank governor I raised three broad questions. First, did the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation remit to the government the entire proceeds of its crude oil sales? Second, if it did not, is there proof of the purpose to which the unremitted amounts were applied? And third, did NNPC have the legal authority to withhold these funds?

Contrary to the claims of petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, the audit report does not exonerate the NNPC. It establishes that the gap between the company’s oil revenues between January 2012 and July 2013 and cash remitted to the government for the same period was $18.5bn. And it goes into detail about the NNPC’s account of how it used that money, which raises serious questions about the legality of the state oil company’s conduct.

The auditors say a significant part of the unremitted funds is supposed to have gone towards a kerosene subsidy that had been stopped two and a half years earlier by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. His decree never appeared in the official gazette, leading some to question whether it ever had legal force.

Evidence disclosed in the report suggests this is a sideshow. The executive secretary of the agency charged with administering subsidies confirmed that, acting on Yar’Adua’s orders, it had ceased granting subsidies on kerosene. There was no appropriation for such a subsidy in the 2012 or 2013 budgets.

Throughout all this, Nigerians paid 120-140 naira a litre of kerosene, far more than the supposed subsidised price of 50 naira. Yet the state oil company withheld $3.4bn to pay for a subsidy that in effect did not exist. I have consistently held that this was a scam that violated the constitution and siphoned off money from the treasury.

The second major item raised in the report relates to the transfer of oil assets belonging to the federation to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.

NPDC has paid $100m for these assets, from which it extracted crude valued at $6.8bn but paid tax and royalties worth $1.7bn in the period scrutinised by the auditors. PwC was unable to establish how much of the remaining $5.1bn should have been remitted to the government. But the report showed that, along with the private companies NPDC partnered with, it was extracting crude worth billions of dollars but yielding very little revenue for the treasury. I was investigating related transactions when I was suspended.

Read the full article on Financial Times.


  1. Sarah

    May 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    See Gobe!!!

  2. Author Unknown

    May 14, 2015 at 1:50 pm


  3. Kadara

    May 14, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    The report even exposed them further plus another audit must be done since some of the agencies refused to co operate with the auditors and they didn’t hand over their books.

  4. @edDREAMZ

    May 14, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said..
    Jonah really no try for us at all i swear…

  5. ShineShineShineShine

    May 14, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Abegiii. Nigeria is bad-yes. Nigeria is in trouble -yes. But people like this Sanusi had a hand in our collective whahala. I hate hypocrisy. Was it not this same Sanusi that was spending CBN money as if it were his personal funds on SR in Kano etc all in the bid for his current stool?When did it become the responsibility of CBN to do such. Even El Rufai revoked already issued CoO and re awarded lands in Abuja to his wives, sistas, concubines, friends etc. All of a sudden, they are in opposition and they are whistle clean. Nigeria is in trouble and the Good Lord will raise a young honest person to salvage the situation not all these holier than thou hypocrites. He and his ilk are not by any stretch of imagination better than the crooks in govt now and those to come May 29th!

    • honey

      May 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      It is still paining you that Buhari won. Ehehe
      Get used to it. PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI!!!!

      They said money is missing, and you are busy attacking the whistle blower. What about the thief? SMH for Nigerians. I guess we deserve the leaders we’ve been getting. With people like you, No wonder Nigeria is the way it is.

    • ShineShineShine

      May 15, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      That round thing on your head has some mushy grey matter in it. It is called a brain. Use it sometimes ok? This is not about bad or good leadership. More like he who comes to equity must do so with clean hands. Sanusi’s hands are not clean.

  6. Elyon

    May 14, 2015 at 4:57 pm


  7. Shobie

    May 14, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    This opportunist is still talking. Barawo banzar. Jonathan/PDP is the wiping boy. As CBN gov’ you also stole from the people.

  8. nnenne

    May 14, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    All am asking for is fairness, equal judgment of all citizens. Let’s not do it selectively.
    I keep repeating that corruption was not invented in Nigeria by this regime. Let the auditors go back in time to the present.
    . Hypocrisy is a very bad word!

  9. lacey

    May 15, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Sanusi Lamido should be tried for the monies he stole from CBN! Bloody rogue! We will collect the 20bn o! But this man wants to distract us from the nonsense he did as CBN,Buhari must probe his tenure as CBN gov as well! Ole!

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