$60.3bn missing petroleum revenue: Reps to probe CBN, FIRS

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APPARENTLY disturbed by the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN, Federal Inland Revenue Service,FIRS to give account of an alleged missing $60.3 billion Petroleum Profit Tax and Royalty revenues, the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions yesterday resolved to conduct an investigative hearing into the missing money. Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele This resolution followed the failure of the CBN   and FIRS to appear before members of the Public Petitions Committee to defend the alleged infractions after turning down 14 invitations. The petitioner, Mr Fidelis Uzonwanne a chartered accountant with Synergy Resources Nigeria Limited, told members of the committee:  ‘’From 2004 to 2016, over $60 billion of PPTP and royalty revenues were unaccounted for by the CBN.” According to the petitioner, the CBN and Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, had failed to appear before members of the committee to defend their submissions upon realising that their secret had been unveiled. “We discovered that something was going wrong and we approached the CBN to take actions to remedy those infractions but it remained adamant, probably that is how they benefit from the system,” the petitioner said. Chairman of the Committee, Uzoma Abonta (Abia-PDP), however, expressed worry over the failure of the CBN to appear before the committee to defend its submission on the alleged infractions. “Because the CBN, FIRS and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, have repeatedly failed to appear, the committee will be left with nothing than to deem it fit to work with materials before it. “We will conduct a public hearing on the matter and we will compel them to appear because what we are trying to do is to have a situation where all the loopholes for leakages are blocked. “The committee will make public its findings via newspaper publications, inviting all the stakeholders to a public hearing to tell Nigerians where the petroleum products tax profit is kept. “The missing money is enough to fund our national budget and the apex bank and the Federal Inland Revenue Service,FIRS, must give us all the details,’’ he said.

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