Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The 36 governors of the federation on the platform of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of failure to remit to the Federation Account the Joint Venture Cash Call for five years.
According to them, this took place when the Cash Call Joint Venture was high as the oil price was about $110 per barrel.
Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Chairman of NGF, and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said this was the case they brought before President Buhari.
Yari explained that the country was shortchanged by NNPC for five years when the oil price was high.
The NGF Chairman, flanked by Governors Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State and Simeon Lalong of Plateau State said: “The meeting is on the decision of NEC (National Economic Council) that the 7-man Committee was established to engage the NNPC and discuss a way forward so that we can resolve the issue that is outstanding, most especially on the remittances to the Federation Account.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) the 7-man committee sat with the NNPC group and today (yesterday) we have come to brief the president. One of the things is about how they are paying the Joint Venture batch four and we have seen that what is being remitted to the Federation Account to the entire people of Nigeria is lower and what is being paid for the Cash Call Joint Venture is higher than what is going to the Federation Account.
“So, we are concerned about that and NEC is concerned about that. So, they told the committee under my leadership to engage with the NNPC to discuss a way forward.”he said.
On what was the response of the president, he said: “The entire federation is being shortchanged by those activities. The NNPC since 2010, there were no payments of Joint Venture Cash Call when the oil was $110 per barrel up to when the President took over in 2015.
“So why the Federation Account is always low is because they are paying dual, paying the existing and at the same time paying the arrears.
“So we sat down with them to fine-tune how best we are going to get our partners to understand where we are more especially now that the oil has started picking and the price is becoming moderately good and then we are slightly out of recession and we want to sustain that tempo.”