NEITI Holds Media and Civil Society Dialogue on Audit Remediation and Sector Reforms

Nigeria Extractive Industries TransparencyInitiative, (NEITI) a multi sector initiative set up to promote prudent management of revenues from Nigeria’s abundant natural resources to reduce poverty and ensure sustainable development and also the Nigerian national sub-set of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, (EITI) on Friday the 17th of August, 2018 held a dialogue with Media Practitioners and Civil Society groups on “NEITI Audit Remediation and Sector Reform Dialogue” in Protea by Marriot Hotel, Owerri, Imo state.

In his opening address, Mr Michael Uzoigwe, a representative from Facility Oil Sector Transparency and Reform , (FOSTER), a NEITI partner organization stated that NEITI is only a coordinating unit for all her stakeholders in terms of audit, the role of the civil society is to monitor the audit and its implementation.
He further stated that there were outstanding issues from the 2014 NEITI audit which were not looked at during its implementation in 2017, as some of the outstanding gaps that speaks to sector reforms were not implemented.

“How can the civil society and media add their voices and engage the relevant concerned organizations to ensure that these outstanding issues are implemented?” Mr Michael enquired.

Some of the outstanding NEITI audit remediation issues highlighted in a presentation by Leonard Ugbajah, a representative of Trade and Business Environment Advisers Limited, TBEAL were as follows:

  • Opaque production and financial accounting, illegal subsidy claims, improper accounting for domestic crude allocation, etc.

  • Domestic crude oil was valued at USD15.67bn (N2.44trn). However, only N1.36trn was received, and N0.83trn deducted (leaving an unreconciled balance of N0.25trn).

  • Lack of proper recording of inflows and outflows

  • Non-compliance with the 30-day remittance rule by some crude oil and gas traders

  • Some IOCs did not have financial statements for 2014 financial year

  • Some IOCs made no payment of NDDC levy at all

  • Failure to provide records of Cabotage and Freight Levy collection by some government agencies

  • Some Government Agencies errors of material omissions in filling the template submitted by NEITI to them, with the risk that the information in the templates may be incomplete or understated

  • Audit validation of payments into CBN account revealed that some receipts were recorded without names of the paying entities and this resulted to incomplete recording and accounting. This applies to payments for PPT, VAT, royalty payments and payments for gas flayed penalties.

Identifying the essence and points of advocacy on these outstanding issues were discussed during the breakout into groups and possible courses of action to finding solution to them were drawn such as; using of Freedom of Information to compell relevant angencies to share certain information, writing petitions to National Assembly for proper investigative hearing, Grassroot mobilization and engaging media for proper community enlightenment, campaign and advocacy.

In attendance were representatives from FOSTER, WANGONET, Youthhub Africa, Connected Development,  and a host of other Civil Society,  conventional and online media practitioners.