The Federal Government says it has appointed forensic auditors to investigate the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
The disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who also revealed that accounting firm- PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed to carry out the exercise.
She spoke during a debate at the 24the edition of the World Economic Forum for Africa with theme “Forging inclusive growth , creating jobs”. Okonjo-Iweala said the exercise would be carried out within a period of 16 weeks under the supervision of the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation
The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had blown the whistle on a missing $20 billion which he said was not remitted to the federation account by the NNPC.
Following the controversy generated by the Sanusi’s revelation, Okonjo-Iweala said that the forensic audit would help unravel all mystery surrounding the missing $20 billion.
Okonjo-Iweala’s revelation was spurred by one of the panelists who lamented the incidence of corruption and called for transparency. Responding Okonjo-Iweala said, “on the issue of holding government to account, I don’t think Nigerians are laying back. We need that transparency and we welcome it. The (suspended) CBN Governor raised issues on unaccounted amount from the federation account and we at the ministry of finance have for two years been reconciling these figures with the NNPC to know what they are supposed to remit to the federation account. Our feeling is that the only way is to have a forensic audit that would let Nigerians know the issue.”
Thereafter she disclosed that “there is a forensic audit that the government has approved and it is being done by PwC under the supervision of the Auditor General for the government and they said they need 12 to 16 weeks to do that and all these would be clarified.”
On theme of the forum, Okonjo-Iweala lamented that the nature of economic growth on the continent had not been inclusive enough adding that more needed to be done to change the quality of economic growth.
According to her “we are all growing but not creating jobs and we have been asking ourselves how do we change the quality of this growth and our rebasing has shown us where the potentials is. We need to get people to go into farming through agroprenuers where 750,000 youths would be encouraged to go into agriculture.