By Eboagwu Austine N. Monday
The House of Representatives has commenced investigation into the circumstances surrounding the expenditure of about N1.93 billion by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC on charter service without any document to back them up.
This was contained in the 2019 report of the Auditor General of the Federation currently being investigated by the Public Accounts Committee, PAC of the House, chaired by Oluwole Oke
The report stated that the NNPC, now NNPC Limited spent the said amount on 17 charter hire services without payment vouchers and adequate supporting document to back up the expenditure.
It also said that there was no supporting document like evidence of vessels transshipment of products, clearance certificates from appropriate inspection agency among others to show that the payments were valid and charged against public funds.
The AuGF report indicted the management of the NNPC for what it called weakness in the internal control system at the corporation, adding that this could have led to illegitimate payment and payment for services not rendered.
According to the report, the Management of the NNPC failed to provide any response to the audit query issued to them, demanding that the Group Managing Director, GMD Mele Kyari be asked to provide reasons why payments were made without adequate supporting documents.
Besides, the corporation is to account for the N1.93 billion paid to 17 contractors for the charter hire without adequate supporting documents and provide evidence of vessel transshipments of products, clearance certificate from appropriate inspection agencies.
Consequently, the Committee directed Kyari to appear before it to defend the audit query.
The NNPC boss is expected to provide the list of all the 17 contractors who benefited from the contract, their legal status and the contract document and all other relevant documents.