19 January 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA — Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its weekly meeting in Abuja, Wednesday, approved N364 million for the audit of the oil, gas and mining revenues.
The audit, by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), is expected to cover the periods, 2009-2011, for the oil and gas; and 2009-2010 for the mining sector.
It will offer the government the opportunity to look deep into the books of the respective sectors.
Addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of the FEC meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said NEITI “is mandated by law to promote transparency and accountability in the management of Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining revenues.
“The appointment of consultants to audit will establish processes and procedures, physical volumes and financial flows from the sectors, improve revenue remittances into the Federal Government account and enthrone competition and corporate governance.”
The Minister further said the audit report, would “also provide relevant information and data for the government’s anti-corruption agenda. It is central to Nigeria’s compliance to the global NEITI to which the country is a signatory.”
Maku said the audit “would be carried out in all major revenue generating entities and all revenue remitting government institutions in the oil and gas and solid minerals sectors of the country from 2009 to 2011 and 2009 to 2010 respectively.”
According to him, the consultants “are to carry out Nigeria’s hydrocarbon and solid mineral values. They shall access the volumetric aspect of production, export, imports, unaccounted oil and gas and solid minerals and other relevant stream”.
“Activities and entities involved in the petrochemical industry or processing of crude oil and gas are not within the scope of work but such activities are required to confirm their relevant stocks, reciepts and inputs to the sectors,” he said.
Maku however explained that the consultants are expected to also “provide the on and off the job training of the secretariat staff that would be involved in the assignment with a view to building capacity and enhancing efficiency for future audits”.
The Minister said NEITI is the national version of NEITI “which is a global movement aimed at ensuring extractive resources aimed for sustainable development”.
On the just concluded labour strike, the minister commended both Christian and Muslims for their cooperation urging Nigerians to build on the unity that existed between during the period.
“We still remain one at all time. The unity of our country is not in doubt irrespective of the diverse nature of the country”.
Maku especially commended the Nigerian youths, security agencies and the generality of Nigerians for their orderly behaviour during the strike.
He thanked the leadership of the national assembly for the role they play in the resolution of the strike.