The revenue that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) failed to remit to the Federation account has continued to generate controversy.
The Nigerian Government cannot seem to account for whopping $49.8 billion revenue generated by the NNPC. The Corporation insists that it has not diverted the money but from all indications, it seems to nowhere to be found.
Legislators, Ministers and the general public have been asking pertinent questions; first to the NNPC and most importantly to the Presidency as to why this money is unaccounted for and why the Minister of Petroleum and her team have not been held accountable.
The latest in the series of such inquiries is the apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria. The bank reportedly wrote a letter of complaint about the missing funds to the Presidency. The letter was dated the 25th of September, 2013 and it pointed out that the failure to remit the funds was a clear violation of relevant laws.
However, further development on the matter of the letter has led the CBN Leadership to caution against its politicization. Apparently, public discourse has risen in the country and controversy surrounding the money is further heightened by the letter, which strangely, the CBN has now refused to confirm or deny its existence.
The bank however noted that it was well within its capacities as the central fiscal regulatory body to express concern over low revenues and reserves in the Excess Crude account despite high prices of oil in the international market.
Naturally, the NNPC has refuted these allegations; offering an explanation in its defense. The Corporation said the Central Bank did not have a clear understanding on how the oil and gas industry works and also, on the process of remittance of funds to the account.
The CBN has since urged the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, as one of the remedies for situations such as these.
In other fiscal (good) news, Nigeria's international image might just have improved considerably as the first phase of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) has been adopted in the country.
The Minister for Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga gave this good news when he was speaking at the 10th annual Financial Reporting Council summit which was held recently in Lagos.
To put this piece of news in perspective, a little background information on what the IFRS means is needed.
International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) issues sets of accounting standards by which companies are evaluated on an international scale; especially with respect to how specific transactions and events are represented on these companies' financial statements.
The IFRS replaced the International Accounting Standards which was the old standard from the IASB. Nigeria had an Accounting Standards Board which was changed to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in 2011 after the passage of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act in 2011. This move had been initiated and approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2010.
The FRC has the responsibility to adopt and implement the IFRS in Nigeria. This commenced in 2012 and as part of the first phase, companies listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) complied with the standards.
The meeting in Lagos was among other things, to brainstorm further effective ways to embed the standards in all layers of the Nigerian economy including the possible creation of the study of the practicality of the IFRS in the accounting curricula in all Nigerian Universities and Tertiary Institutions.

Article by Kutu Ameji