NEITI clarifies reports on alleged unremitted oil revenues
• DPR to drive transparency with VMB
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said unremitted $22.06 billion and N481.75 billion by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and others to the Federation Account are legacy issues in its 1999-2015 audit reports.Director, Communications and Advocacy at NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said in a statement yesterday that the bulk of the outstanding amounts were dividends from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) covering 2000 to 2015.
Others are outstanding payments for 12 Oil Mining Licenses (OMLs) divested to the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) between 2011 and 2013. “To say the non-remittance happened under this administration or that the money went missing from the Federation Account is, therefore, incorrect and misleading,” Orji said in a statement.
He said the clarification became necessary following distortion and politicisation of media reports of a conference organised by NEITI in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, the focus of the conference was on how to ensure better implementation of NEITI’s audit recommendations, address lingering issues in the extractive sector and improve optimisation of Nigeria’s extractive endowments for the benefit of all Nigerians. Orji insisted that the conference was not a fault-finding or a political event, noting that information shared during discussions was not new.
“There was nothing in the data shared and discussed yesterday that had not been made public over time, most notably in the NEITI Policy Brief on unremitted funds released in April 2017 and in its 2015 industry audit reports released in December 2017.
“Those who follow discussions on the issues closely should also be aware that various efforts have been made by different government institutions, including the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) and the National Economic Council (NEC) to ensure that NNPC and its subsidiaries address the legacy issues,” he said.
He added that the NNPC team confirmed that most of the issues under reference have either been resolved or were at advanced stages of resolution.
“While NEITI awaits the outcome of its ongoing audits for 2016 and 2017 to provide update on these and other issues, it is wrong to distort data from its audits and the issues arising from them for sensational or political purposes,” Orji stressed.
Meanwhile, in a bid to promote transparency and accountability in the country’s oil and gas sector, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has launched Value Monitoring and Benchmarking (VMB).Speaking during the launch in Lagos, Director of DPR, Mordecai Ladan, stated that the VMB of oil and gas assets development is part of DPR’s regulatory oversight function.
Represented by the Head, Upstream, Monitoring and Regulation, Pat Maseli, he said the VMB is a regulatory framework aimed at scaling up best-in-class regulatory values.It is also to strategically monitor and benchmark industry cost performance with transparent and standardised digital platform, as well as stimulate sustainable competitiveness for growth and development.
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