We’ll act on NEITI reports, Buhari assures

June 18 2015

From DENNIS MERNYI, Abuja

President Mu­hammadu Bu­hari has said he will take all necessary steps to implement the findings and recommendations contained in the audit reports of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

Buhari spoke through Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, while receiving the Chair of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Clare Short and her delegation at the Defence House, Abuja

The vice president af­firmed the Federal Gov­ernment’s commitment to the implementation of the EITI principles as part of the plans to reform the oil and gas sector. Profes­sor Osinbajo commended NEITI for its courage, dil­igence and commitment to corporate good gover­nance of the oil, gas and mining industries. He said the Federal Government would carefully study the reports with a view to en­suring that the findings and recommendations guide government’s ac­tions on the reforms.

Chair of EITI, Clare Short advised the govern­ment to consider a major shake-up in the oil and gas industry if the benefits of the nation’s abundant resources were to be felt by all Nigerians. “The NEITI reports have all the information and data that will guide the government to reform the industry. It is also important that the government integrate the NEITI into its overall economic policy team,” she said.

For his part, Chairman of NEITI, Ledum Mitee appealed to the govern­ment to overhaul the Inter -Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) set up to imple­ment NEITI reports, say­ing the body had recorded very little progress.

Executive Secretary of NEITI also urged the government to take urgent steps to divest the na­tion’s interest in the joint venture operations to free the country from the huge burden imposed by the obligations of the under­takings.

Mrs. Ahmed advised the government to criti­cally examine the man­agement of domestic crude allocations, con­sider the removal of oil subsidy, abrogation of oil-swap arrangements and take urgent steps to recov­er outstanding sums from under-payments, under-assessment of taxes, rents and royalties.

Nigeria joined the glob­al EITI in 2003, began im­plementation in 2004 and strengthened the process with a law in 2007. The NEITI Audit Reports be­tween 1999 and 2011 had revealed a total revenue loss of $9.8billion to the Federation. The loss was as a result of underpay­ments, under-assessment of taxes, rents, royalties and other process lapses.

NEITI working with other agencies, has recov­ered $2.4 Billion from the total estimate. The break­down of the recoveries shows that $1 billion was recovered from 1999 to 2004 Audit Reports and $550million was recov­ered from the NEITI Au­dit Reports of 2005. The 2006 to 2008 Audit Re­port led to a recovery of $447 million while NEITI Reports of 2009 to 2011 led to the a recovery of $416 million.

Source: http://sunnewsonline.com/new/well-act-on-neiti-reports-buhari-assures/

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