In 2013, the Nigerian press obtained a letter from then-Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to President Goodluck Jonathan. In the letter, Sanusi stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria’s state oil company, had failed to “repatriate” some $49 billion to the Federation Account. The ensuing controversy resulted in Sanusi’s suspension by the president, and became one of the major scandals associated with Jonathan’s presidency. In an attempt to demonstrate transparency, in early 2014 the government asked PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to audit the NNPC.
This week, after President-elect Muhammadu Buhari’s team vowed to release the full report of the audit and probe the NNPC, the Jonathan administration publicly released the report (.pdf), which covers the period January 2012-July 2013. Its contents have occasioned major comment in Nigeria. For example, one important finding is that “forty-six percent of domestic crude oil revenues for the review period was spent on operations and subsidies.” That’s a lot of overhead.
Here are a few resources for understanding what’s going on.
- Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s letter (.pdf) to Goodluck Jonathan (dated September 2013, leaked December 2013)
- Bloomberg on Jonathan’s suspension of Sanusi (February 2014)
- Nigeria’s The Nation on Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s announcement that the PwC audit would go forward (May 2014)
- PwC audit report (.pdf) on the NNPC (dated February 2015, leaked April 2015)
- Statement from Jonathan’s spokesman Reuben Abati
- Comments by the Auditor General of the Foundation to the effect that Jonathan interfered with initial efforts to publish the report
- Websites of the NNPC and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a key entity in the affair
Current commentary and analysis: