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‘Recovering N94tn unremitted fund, solution to economic crisis’ – Falana

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has asked the Federal Government to compel the Nigerian National Corporation to return unremitted funds between 2010 and 2014 and another N94tn held by oil operators.

He noted that the announcement by the NNPC that there was no money to remit into the federation account next month amounted to blackmailing the government into accepting deregulation policy of the downstream sector.

Falana in a statement in Abuja on Thursday at a lecture delivered in honour of Prof. Omotoye Olorode said “The Auditor-General of the Federation has revealed that between 2010 and 2014, $16bn worth of crude oil was not accounted for by the NNPC. Also, the Revenue Mobilisation and Allocation Commission and NEITI have come out to say that the NNPC has failed to remit to the federation account about $22bn dividends paid by the LNG.

“The NNPC has not, up to this moment, denied any of these serious allegations. So, if they say there is no money now, it is meant to blackmail Nigerians that the Corporation won’t remit money because it is paying for subsidy.

“Federal and state governments would then move to stop subsidy so they can have money to pay salaries, allowances and pension. But Nigerians must tell the government that there are alternative sources.

“We have written to the President about how government can recover N94trn. We are going to insist now that recovering this money is the way to go”, he said.

In his presentation titled, ‘Labour and the quest for Nigeria’s development: Reflections and prognosis on the way forward,’ Falana took a swipe at the President for dividing the country “through his body language and lopsided appointments”.

Also he lambasted the labour movement for abandoning the traditions of the founding fathers such as Michael Imoudu, Nduka Eze, Wahab Goodluck and Ali Chiroma.

A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Attahiru Jega, who chaired the occasion, said the labour movement has a crucial role to play in ensuring the emergence of a government that is built on social justice.

‘Oilsmuggling has official backing’

In another development Falana said the smuggling of petroleum products outside the country had official backing, Punch reported.

“The alleged smuggling of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries has official backing; it is officially sanctioned. My suggestion that mega stations be built by the NNPC in neighbouring countries has been ignored. After all, Nigerian banks and other businesses operate in the member states of ECOWAS.  If such mega stations are built, they would be selling fuel from Nigeria at official rates in a way that smuggling would end”, he stated.

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