OrderPaperToday – The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) might face legal liquidation as the Senate Committee on Finance has queried unending financial leakages in the agency.
This was as it was discovered that billions of naira were squandered by government agencies which is partly responsible for the inadequate funding of budget.
These developments were brought to light when the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun appeared at the Senate for budget defence on Tuesday.
Sen. Yusuf Yusuf (APC, Taraba) lamented that NNPC has become a drain pipe on the economy without any checks on its excesses.
He said: “We are talking about leakages, is the NNPC cooperating? Why can’t we liquidate NNPC? It is better we liquidate NNPC because it is no longer relevant. They do not respect anybody. They do not respect us. NNPC has become a drain pipe that should be liquidated.”
Responding to the issue of leakages, Adeosun said her Ministry would look into other agencies apart from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that could augment government earnings.
She said: “We have taken on board some of key reform initiatives. A total of N306 billion is expected from privatisation and N5 billion from sale of other government’s property to finance the deficit.”
She also noted that oil revenue would contribute 37 per cent of the total revenue of N6.6 trillion.
Others, according to her, are recovered looted funds; tax amnesty; signature bonus; joint venture equity restructuring; grants and donors funding; and others.
The minister said the revenue targeted for 2017 was largely achieved, with a record of 64 per cent performance.
Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi) questioned the initiative of the federal government to commence the 2018 budget in January when 50% of the 2017 budget had only been implemented.
According to Abdullahi, the 2017 and 2018 budget had no correlation and if passed in January would yield poor results as a result of the population in the country.
He said: “What is the whole idea that the budget must begin from January. The entire template you used for budgeting has no bearing whatsoever with reality. It was the template used during the military era. We do the same thing every year and expect a different result. It does not work like that.”