By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), on Thursday, told President Muhammadu Buhari that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has failed to remit to the Federation Account the Joint Venture Cash Call for about five years.
Briefing State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with Buhari in Aso Rock, Chairman of the forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari explained that the country had been shortchanged by the NNPC for five years when the oil price was high.
Yari lamented that this untoward development took place when the Cash Call Joint Venture was high as the oil price was about $110 per barrel.
Stating the reason for the group’s decision for taking their complaint to President Buhari in the villa, the Zamfara governor who was joined by Governors Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State and his counterpart, Simeon Lalong of Plateau State said the meeting followed a decision by the National Economic Council that a 7-member Committee be established “to engage the NNPC and discuss the way forward to resolve the issue that was 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.
“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, “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.
“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 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.”