One day after President Goodluck Jonathan authorized the release of a version of a forensic audit of $20 billion reportedly missing from Nigeria’s crude oil sales, an oil industry expert retained by an online media (SaharaReporters) to look at the report has stated that the Nigerian government appeared to have pressured the auditors, PricewaterhouseCooper, to revise parts of its preliminary report. Nigeria’s oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke State House Photo
After analyzing the audit report, the expert concluded that the much-anticipated release of the audit report of Nigeria’s accounts and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has provided few insights into the $20 billion that was allegedly not remitted to the Federal Accounts.
Mr. Jonathan authorized the release of a version of the report one day after President-elect Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that his administration would immediately investigate the allegation by former Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to the effect that the NNPC had failed to account for more than $20 billion in crude oil exports by Nigeria. Mr. Sanusi, who was fired by President Jonathan shortly after he made the allegation, is now the Emir of the ancient city of Kano.
“The report reveals that PricewaterhouseCooper was recalled by Nigeria’s auditor general in January 2015 to share its original findings with the NNPC,” said the expert. He added, “At this point, PwC received ‘a significant amount of additional information’ from the NNPC, which was reportedly not provided during the original review period. Consequently, the so-called updated report released by Jonathan contains significant changes from the previous report.”
He stated that it was important to investigate the nature of the “additional information” produced by NNPC “to determine whether it was simply a tactical deployment of deceptive data and information to color the audit outcome.”