Nigeria’s state-owned oil company has failed to pay the government $16bn (£11bn) in a suspected fraud, according to an official audit.The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) provided no explanation for the missing funds, the auditor general told MPs.
Oil revenue accounts for two-thirds of the government’s funding.
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to crack down on corruption since coming to office last May.
The NNPC has not commented on the auditor general’s findings.
This finding by the auditor general, while shocking, is not a surprise.
Officials from the previous administration allegedly indulged in wholesale corruption where billions of dollars of oil funds simply disappeared.
When the then central bank governor Lamido Sanusi pointed out that billions of dollars were missing from the treasury, he was sacked from his job.
A separate audit ordered under last President Goodluck Jonathan and carried out by global accountancy firm PwC, found that the NNPC had failed to pay the government $1.48bn between January 2012 and July 2013.
It did not provide a total figure for how much revenue the NNPC should legally have handed over to the treasury.
However, the company said that it could not vouch for the integrity of the information it was given when it conducted the audit.
Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer, but the economy has suffered because of the recent decline in the price of oil.
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