Nigeria's Lawmakers to Probe State Oil Company Over Remittances

(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s House of Representatives will investigate the state-owned oil company for allegedly not sending enough funds to the government.

The lower chamber voted to start a probe after a motion on Tuesday from Nicholas Ossai, a member of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party and the chairman of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

There’s an “urgent need” to investigate Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.’s “under-remittances” to the so-called Federation Account, Ossai said in his motion. NNPC short-changed the government by 100 billion naira ($277 million) in June and high crude prices mean that was “not caused by poor revenue from oil but likely as a result of some individuals not doing what they are supposed to,” he said.

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said last month that the amount NNPC was transferring to the government was “unacceptable.”

The Federation Account is used to collect revenue from oil and other sources and then allocate the funds to Nigeria’s federal, state and local governments. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is trying to boost spending to revive an economy that’s still recovering from the 2014 crash in oil prices. Most state revenue comes from the oil and gas sector.

Calls to an NNPC spokesman didn’t go through.

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