Academics take stand on NNPC, says company now liability to Nigeria

Apparently worried about the increasing expenditure of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, group of lecturers under aegis of Academics for Accountable Governance Group, (AAGG), has declared as unacceptable the situation where whopping amount of N788bn was allegedly spent on salaries; Forex, entertainment, and other expenses.

It also challenged the NNPC  to explain to Nigerians how it made a net profit of N674bn and spent N788.7 billion on salary, entertainment and other costs. According to the group, there is no place in the world where a major oil and gas producing company would have its expenditure greater than income.

In the statement, made available to journalists in Kaduna, the group said, “It is against this disturbing background that as a group of concerned Nigerians, we decided to join Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufa’i; the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar to ask the Federal Government to immediately scrap and sell NNPC immediately before it becomes comatose”, it stated.

The group, which disclosed this in a statement jointly signed by the Coordinator; Professor Fahad Muhammad, Secretary, Dr. Ogundipe Ogunbiyi and Publicity Secretary, Professor Chuka Nwaneri, said it is economically illogical to continue to declare a ‘mirage’ of profit when expenditures get higher than incomes .

The group, which queried why the salary of staff kept rising without any productive activities in the refineries said, “The situation where salary spent shows that N236bn spent in 2021 is higher than the N212bn spent in 2020; and where Pension took N150bn, a decrease from the N182bn spent the previous year is beyond human comprehension. Most unfortunate is the huge emolument cost at a time when the company has been commercialized with experts expecting a downsize in staff”.

While making reference to some media reports about the N81bn was spent on exchange loss, the cost of converting oil earnings to local currency which rose by 100 per cent from the N42bn spent in 2020, the group said , “We consider it worrisome that NNPC wrote off N71bn for asset depreciation, allegedly spent N11bn on entertainment, blew N46bn on legal and professional fees, spent N390m on its directors with the officials spending N10bn on travels and most disturbing, is the N20bn it spent on fines and penalty.

Overall, the company said it recorded over N6.4trillion income which was higher than the N3.7trn it made earlier. While it spent N5.3trn In 2021 as cost of sales of petroleum products, NNPC spent N3.6trn in 2020″. 

However, the group reiterated its position on scrapping the NNPC, on the grounds that it’s obvious that the company is no longer viable and should be sold and the proceeds used to diversify the economy.

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