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FACT CHECK: Did NNPC declare profit for first time in 44 years as Buhari claimed?

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Claim:
President Muhammad Buhari on August 26 declared that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) posted N287 billion profit after tax.

The President turned to Facebook to proclaim that the profit made in 2020 was the first in the government-owned oil firm’s 44-year existence.

The President went further to congratulate the Board, Management, and Staff of the Corporation.

Verdict:
President Buhari’s claim is not true as NNPC actually declared profit in 2017.

Full text:
A sample of president Buhari’s post read: “I am pleased to announce the declaration of Profit after Tax of Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Billion Naira (N287 Billion) in Year 2020 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC.

This is sequel to the completion of the statutory Annual Audit exercise for Year 2020.

“The NNPC losses were reduced from N803 Billion in year 2018 to N1.7 Billion in year 2019 and the eventual declaration of Net Profit in Year 2020 for the first time in its 44-year history.

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“This development is consistent with this administration’s commitment to ensuring prudent management of resources and maximization of value for the Nigerian people from their natural resources.

“I have further directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to timely publish the Audited Financial statements in line with the requirements of the law and as follow up to our commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability by public institutions.

“I congratulate the Board, Management and Staff of the Corporation and look forward to greater value creation for the Nigerian people.”

Verification:

Using data from 2019, NNPC’s annual reports and financial statements, it was discovered that the corporation recorded N111.5 billion profit after tax in 2017.

According to the report, NNPC lost N742.9 billion in 2015, then lost N119 billion in 2016 before turning a profit of N111.5 billion in 2017.
However, a N803.1 billion loss was reported the following year, followed by another 1.76 billion in 2019.

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