The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has shifted the 2020 audit report of on N2.6. Trillion for 77 Oil companies to first quarter of next year, 2022.
.The audit report for the 77 Oil firm was to be presented by NEiT in November this year. However the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonna Orji said the presentation of the report was postpond as a result of the review being carried on the audit report in order to assert the scope and content.of the report.
Ogbonna Orji explained the review will capture emerging issues and matters emanating from the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA)
“As a result of reviews in scope and content to enable NEITI respond adequately to unfolding EITI emerging issues, matters arising from the post petroleum industry act, the 2020 oil and gas report will be ready within the first quarter of next year.” the NEITI boss said.
He disclosed that NEITI will also commence the 2021 oil and gas industry audit next year and that of the mining industry.
”The conduct of 2021 industry reports, oil/gas and mining will also commence next year,” he said.
NEITI in November had promised to release the 2020 report in December this year but again shifted it. “The ongoing NEITI 2020 oil/gas independent industry audit to be released early next month will confirm the current status. I am in no position to speculate at this moment.
“Now, the 2020 audit report will validate if these payments have been made by the companies. Our audit reports are published annually. Plans are on to release the 2020 report by Decemberthis year.”
Orji urged the federal government to prevail on the 77 firms to remit their outstanding dues of Value Added Tax (VAT), Withholding Income Tax (WIT), Education Tax and the others to the government.
According to him, the money was enough for debt service in the 2021 budget.
Though President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in the year given coalition of anti-graft agencies, including NEITI, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Independence Corrupt Practices and Other Crimes Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the nod to recover about N2.65 trillion unremitted funds from the 77 firs in the oil and gas sector.
The NFIU Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Modibbo Tukur had during his visit to NEITI secretariat to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two government organisations, said it was unacceptable that government would be owed such huge funds at a time it was borrowing to fund major projects.
He said the President had mandated Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed to oversee the process, including the setting up of a panel of the anti-corruption agencies to recover the unremitted monies.
He said: “Mr. President has approved officially all the recoveries to be done in this area. The minister of finance has been directed to set up a recovery panel with the EFCC, NEITI and NFIU in it and even NAPIMS and all the others.
“So, we are heading to maximum transparency. And there will be consolidation of data coming from NEITI, from NFIU and other agencies and there will be very clear reconciliation with the players and those regulating the sector, so, no more hiding of our national revenues. We all know what we are going through. Nobody wants to see the government borrow.”