The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has committed to the prompt payment of proceeds from its operations to the Federation Account and steady supply of petroleum products to Nigerians.
The development may not be unconnected with the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report which declared that the NNPC was yet to remit an outstanding $16.8 billion dividend between 2000 and 2015 to the federation account.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Corporation, Mr. Umar Ajiya, disclosed the latest NNPC commitment at a strategy session with the heads of account departments of the Corporation’s subsidiaries at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, and noted that the meeting was part of the initiatives to rally business leaders in support of the new management’s agenda.
Ajiya stated that the strategic role of Accounts Directorate remained crucial to the realisation of the new GMD’s goals and objectives, stressing that there was need for all managers of accounts to improve on deliverables.
“This important meeting is to ensure that the management of Finance and Accounts Directorate corporate wide are properly briefed on the direction of the new NNPC management and work as a team to deliver on the GMD’s commitments to the nation among which are: paying what is attributable to the Federation by way of FAAC remittances and meeting up with obligations to all stakeholders as and when due”, he said.
The CFO listed eight key areas where the Accounts Directorate can help in actualising the GMD’s agenda to include: liquidity management; financing for growth; business process improvement, budget and budgetary controls payment system, cost control/discipline, real-time financial reporting, capacity building, autonomy for SBUs, and maintenance of pension funding.
He stated that the GMD’s mandates and commitments have financial implications and that the Directorate was looking ahead and ready to implement the Direct Debit and Cash Sweep mechanism to grow other businesses for a more viable Corporation.
He explained the Direct Debit and Cash Sweep concept is system whereby “the corporate has the right to debit SBUs with excess cash flow by cash-sweeping the excess for the purpose of investing in other SBUs by way of inter-company loan or equity contribution. This way, we can grow the several businesses to their full potentials”.
Ajiya disclosed that under his watch, SBU autonomy would be enhanced, adding, however, that such freedom must be tied to the responsibility of going beyond self-funding to contributing to the general purse.
He equally charged his team to embrace process automation for their individual Strategic Business Units (SBUs).