The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari has come under scathing criticism from the House Committee on Public Account for shielding the leadership of the Corporation’s 17 subsidiaries from appearing before the panel to defend themselves over a report of the Auditor-General for the Federation concerning financial infractions between 2014 and 2019.
The NNPC GMD who appeared after several requests from the House Committee on Tuesday, was ordered by the house to produce the leadership of the 17 subsidiaries within two weeks.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday told the NNPC Limited in clear terms that it must produce before it, the leadership of its 17 subsidiaries indicted by a report of the Auditor-General for the Federation over financial infractions between 2014 and 2019.
Oluwole Oke, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Account at the resumed investigative hearing on the report on Tuesday alleged NNPC of hiding some information about their dealings from Nigerians by shielding its subsidiaries from public scrutiny.
Oke made the allegation after Kyari dismissed the media reports that about 107 million barrels of crude oil could not be accounted for, in 2018. He also said the House was shying away from invoking the provisions of the constitution to issue a warrant of arrest on the leadership of the subsidiaries who have refused to appear before the parliament to answer questions arising from the AuGF report.
He said, “With due respect, the parliament differs with you because we are guided by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Legislative Houses Privileges Act and our rules.
“Yes, you have submitted a consolidated account. But the Auditor General who submitted his report to us, conducted an audit pursuant to section 85 of the constitution and audited the accounts of these subsidiaries, published the report and submitted the same to the parliament.
Mele Kyari in his response said, “NNPC has nothing to hide. We have nothing to hide from Nigerians. In view of that, we have published the same audited account that you have for Nigerians to see, read and comment on.
“Those accounts are a complete reflection of all our transactions, including our subsidiary companies. So, we are hiding nothing from Nigerians.
“I agree with you that we can be more transparent. Can we do something different from this? Absolutely yes. Are we doing enough? Yes, we are doing more than enough. No National oil company in this world publishes its audited statement of account. There is no company that publishes its monthly report as we do.
“Therefore, I expect that you should congratulate us that we are doing more than expectations in terms of transparency and accountability. We owe this to Nigerians because it is their company and we sincerely believe that this company is owned by over 200 million Nigerians, we are accountable to them and we must be transparent by every means possible.
“But as we do this, we must also recognize that we are running a business on their behalf and this business has rules and responsibilities and part of it is to have a report of this nature which the Auditor General endorses by law for them to deliver on.