July 10, 2018 / 4:40 PM / a year ago

Nigerian lawmakers to investigate state oil firm over remittances

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian lawmakers voted on Tuesday to investigate the state oil firm over a shortfall in revenue remittances to government coffers, in a motion passed by the lower house of parliament.

Last month, Nigeria’s finance minister called the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC’s) payments to the government account “unacceptable”, as they were less than expected in light of higher crude oil prices.

Those publicly-raised concerns triggered Tuesday’s vote by the House of Representatives to probe NNPC, which noted an “under remittance of about 100 billion naira ($327.65 million).”

The house resolved to establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate crude oil sales and other sources of funds to NNPC for May and June and is due to report back in two weeks.

An NNPC spokesman told Reuters the company had not yet seen the house’s resolution to investigate so could not comment further.

After Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun raised her concerns in June, the NNPC said in an emailed statement that its remittance to the government account was in line with terms agreed with state governors.

Government revenues are collected centrally each month and distributed to the various levels of state including the federal government, state governments and local government councils.

Nigeria, an OPEC member, is Africa’s biggest crude producer and oil sales account for two-thirds of government revenue.

Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Additional reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Adrian Croft

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