The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has expressed shock at the alleged non-remittance of $20bn oil revenue, attributing the development to the neglect of its audits and recommendations.
The Chairman, NEITI, Mr. Ledum Mitee, who was at the Template Workshop on the 2012 oil and gas sector audit in Lagos on Tuesday, said, “I find the controversy unfortunate for they are issues that ordinarily fall under the NEITI statutory mandate that would have been needless and unnecessary had relevant agencies, officials and institutions taken the NEITI audit recommendations more seriously.
“The NEITI audit report contains credible data and information on the production figures, payment received and amounts recommended to be due to the Federation Account, among others, for a covered period. They equally contain recommendations on remedial issues expected to address identified gaps and weaknesses in the entire value chain.
Though the audits will not be able to clear the current allegations by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, Mitee said, “We have consistently made the point that with adequate funding and support, we could automate our data collection processes to enable us to get real time data, which can be resorted to when there is a controversy.”
He was, however, optimistic that the ongoing controversy over the unremitted funds would make all relevant agencies and institutions to give NEITI and its audit recommendations the deserved seriousness and support.
Mitee also said the agency had commenced the 2012 industry audit process to examine the flow of revenues from the oil, gas and mining sectors within the period.
According to the NEITI chairman, the 2012 audit report is important because “it is coming at a time in our national history that the nation is embroiled in a very unfortunate controversy over allegations of non-remittance of oil revenue to the Federation Account.”