Twenty-two withdrawals totalling $3.12 billion were made from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividends account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the last three years.
This is according to documents submitted to the Senate Committee on Gas Resources by the CBN in Abuja on Thursday.
Chairman of the committee, Bassey Akpan, read out the figures when officials of the CBN and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) appeared before the committee.
NAN reports that the committee was looking into the 1.05 billion dollars that the NNPC admitted withdrawing from the NLNG dividend account to “augment under-recoveries” in the importation of petrol.
NLNG is a gas firm jointly owned by the federal government and three multinational oil companies namely Shell, Total and Eni.
The NNPC, which represents the government in the gas company, holds 49 per cent of the shares.
Shell owns 25.6 per cent, Total 15 per cent and Eni 10.4 per cent.
The lawmakers are angry that the NNPC acted beyond its powers by unilaterally drawing from the NLNG dividends, without recourse to the National Assembly or other tiers of government.
According to them, dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, to be shared among the federal, state and local governments.
But the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, told the Senators recently that the corporation acted in line with its establishment act.