Nigeria’s Finance Minister Calls for Audit of Oil Accounts

Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said an independent auditor should examine the country’s oil accounts clear up allegations that the state petroleum company hasn’t accounted for all its revenue.

“The best way to get to the truth and reassure Nigerians who have been expressing strong opinions on the issue would be to set up an independent body that would do a forensic audit of all the documents and claims,” she said today in an e-mailed statement from Abuja, the capital.

Central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi told lawmakers on Feb. 4 that state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. hasn’t accounted for $20 billion in revenue that should be paid to the federal government.

NNPC’s Group Managing Director Andrew Yakubu denied Sanusi’s allegations before lawmakers today, saying the amount wasn’t correct. The company spent $10.8 billion of oil revenue on fuel “subsidy, pipeline maintenance and other losses,” he said.

Sanusi said he wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan last year requesting a probe of the West African nation’s oil accounts.

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