NEITI to recover N1.3tr from oil firms

30 November 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has indicated its determination to recover about N1.3trillion under-assessments/underpayments by oil and gas companies as captured in its audit of the sector. .

NEITI chairman, Ledum Mitee, said, Thursday, during the Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, roundtable meeting in Abuja: “NEITI can no longer sit and watch and allow these recoverable funds in the hands of companies at a time the Federal Government is searching for funds to finance the deficit in the annual budget.”

He stated that most of the outstanding payments were pending because there has not been sufficient push by those involved to collect the money.

“If we tell you, look, you are supposed to collect this money and we are determined that this is the process with which this money should be collected and you have not done it, and because of that we want to take you to court , then people will know that you are the problem why we have not gotten sufficient money,” Mitee further said

According to him, the Federal Executive Council has approved N148.95million for the audit of the fiscal and statutory disbursements from the Federation Accounts from 2007 to 2011.

The audit, he said, would be conducted on the Niger Delta Development Commission, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Central Bank of Nigeria, Shares of Derivation and Ecological Fund, Administration and Application of Excess Crude Account, 13 per cent Derivation Allocation to states and Local Government Councils and the Ecological Funds, among others.

He noted that the extractive industry transparency initiative principle was founded and rooted on the Multi-stakeholders of government, industry and civil society.

The NEITI chief said the need to broaden the scope of society’s participation, informed the establishment of the Civil Society Forum.

The Executive Secretary, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the report of the oil and gas from 2009 – 2011 has been concluded.

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