SERAP wants Jonathan to query NNPC over missing $49.8bn of oil money

Abuja, 10 December 2013, SERAP.

This post was originally published on the SERAP website.

As the world marks the International anti-corruption and human rights day, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to “urgently query the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over its alleged failure to remit $49.8 billion to the Federation Account between 2012 and 2013.”

The organization asked the president to “publicly announce to Nigerians what he is doing to find the missing funds and to bring suspected perpetrators to justice.”

This followed complaints by the Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to President Jonathan in September 2013 that the funds which accrued from crude oil liftings during the period was missing. In the letter, Mr Sanusi reportedly recommended to the president to: among others require NNPC to provide evidence for disposal of all proceeds of crude sales diverted from the CBN and Federation Account, and authorise prosecution of suspects.

In a statement signed by SERAP Executive Director Adetokunbo Mumuni the organization said that, “this case provides the president a rare opportunity to show that he is truly committed to the oft-repeated fight against corruption. It is certainly not enough for this government to simply praise Nelson Mandela. If the president is truly to be inspired by Mandela, he needs to begin to show the leadership steadfast commitment required to end corruption.”

According to the group, “adopting the Mandela formula requires first and foremost leadership by example and service to the people. Will the president now publicly declare his assets? Will this government go after those responsible for the missing $49.8 billion? Will the president set a deadline for satisfactorily prosecuting all outstanding cases of corruption? Doing great things such as these and making people the centerpiece of his action is what makes Mandela special, and explains why he is so much celebrated today.”

“We urge the government to free millions of Nigerians from the yoke of corruption and poverty, and hope the president can work to make this a reality. As Mandela correctly stated, ‘For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.’ This is what Mandela’s vision and political leadership is all about.”