By Ignatius Okorocha
The Senate has resolved to investigate alleged cases of financial corruption in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) put at $137 million.
The resolution of the Upper Chamber on Tuesday was sequel to a point of order raised by Senator Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi West).
He said: “While some individuals and government appointees will continue to steal, we have decided to continue to expose corruption in public life. I call the attention of the Senate to a suspected, colossal, monumental corruption in NNPC.
“A company was registered with the name a�?Brass LNG Limited’ with the Federal Government having controlling shares. We have some Italians, Belgians and French as shareholders, with the Federal Government with a controlling share of about 50 per cent,a�? he said.
Melaye said that it was a known fact that there is a joint venture, the account of the business would be domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), stressing that, the case was not what happened.
a�?In private, the account was opened with Keystone Bank; this account has no Bank Verification Number (BVN) and there have been periodic withdrawals (from it). The last withdrawal from the account was to the tune of $4million. As I speak to you, the balance of that account as of today is $137million.a�?
After a voice vote by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, the lawmakers resolved to look into the issue at another legislative day.
Also yesterday, the Senate commenced investigation into “a value-for-money audit” on the execution of $16.352billion Egina oil project to ascertain if Nigeria had been short-changed in the project.
The exercise being carried out by the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Local Content is saddled with the responsibility of investigating the local content elements and repeated variations on the project. The committee, which grilled officials of the NNPC, described the cost of the project as bogus and alarming.
The committeea��s chairman, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC/Lagos), ordered the NNPC to submit the original documents of the contract between Nigeria and Total as well as all the approvals by the Nigeria (Local) Content Board.
By Ignatius Okorocha