NEITI Clears NNPC In 11 Of 20 Audit Issues

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), yesterday, disclosed that 11 out of the 20 audit issues raised against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in its past audit reports have been resolved.

In a statement in Abuja, NEITI, also noted that eight other issues in its past audit reports against the NNPC were currently being resolved, while only one issue was yet to be resolved.

The unresolved issue, according to NEITI, is the status of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) payments, noting that a joint committee of NEITI and NNPC Joint Committee on Remediation and Mainstreaming, which made the disclosure, also recommended that NNPC publish a statement on the status of the NLNG account.

NEITI further stated that the NNPC pledged to look into the recommendation and to consult with the account owners, especially as it holds 49 per cent stake in NLNG on behalf of the country for which it receives dividends and other payments put at $16.8billion over a 15-year period.

In addition, NEITI said, “The eleven issues deemed fully resolved are: the outstanding liabilities by the Nigerian Agip Exploration (NAE), and the under-reporting of revenues receivable by NNPC as disclosed in the 2014 NEITI report.

“Others are non-compliance with the 30-day remittance rule by some crude oil and gas traders; payments of cash-call to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the NNPC, after the company had acquired Federation Joint Venture assets in the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Joint Venture (JV); and payment of cash-calls to NPDC after it had acquired Federation Joint Venture assets in the Shell JV.

“Inconsistencies in records of cash-call payments; expending cash-call on non-cash-call items; issuance of revenue receipts as at when due; payment of consideration on NAOC Joint Venture assets divested to NPDC; outstanding Pay as you Earn (PAYE), liabilities; and outstanding payment from domestic crude allocations.”

The eight issues deemed partially resolved, NEITI said, are: “Over-recovery by NNPC under the Petroleum Support Fund Scheme (PSF); NPDC’s unremitted Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) levy; accumulated unremitted gas flare penalties; unremitted balance for crude oil lifting from NPDC, Shoreline and Seplat JVs.

“Outstanding NPDC’s Petroleum Profit Tax Liability; unremitted crude oil royalties for 2014, 2015, and 2016; balance of the value of the eight OMLs assigned by NNPC to NPDC from Shell JV between 2010 and 2011; and upfront deductions from domestic crude allocations.

“Payment plans had been developed between NNPC and the beneficiaries and payments are being made according to the plans. NNPC, which committed to a transparent and accountable framework for deductions from domestic crude allocations, is expected to provide regular updates on progress on the eight issues until they are fully resolved.”

NEITI stated that the joint committee was inaugurated on November 21, 2019 by the heads of the two institutions NEITI and NNPC and was charged with reconciling 20 legacy issues, producing a status update, and making recommendations for deepening transparency within the NNPC.

It explained that “after reviewing documents and deliberating for about a year, the committee recently presented its report to the senior management teams of the two organisations, which reviewed the report and approved as follows: 11 issues (or 55 per cent) are deemed fully resolved; eight issues (or 40 per cent) are deemed partially resolved or ongoing; and one issue (5 per cent) is yet to be resolved.”

Commenting on the joint committee’s report, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, said: “We acknowledge the significant strides towards openness by the current management of NNPC. While remediation is about looking back, mainstreaming is about looking forward.

“Both are about being transparent and being accountable. And what we have seen on both fronts is concrete commitment. We urge you to keep this up and we want you to know we are always here to partner with you.”

On his part, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said: “NNPC is committed to expanding the frontiers of transparency and accountability. We believe there should be full disclosure of our transactions, not just in alignment with the EITI, but also because Nigerians need to have full visibility of our operations. We are always eager to work with NEITI on this.

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