NEITI vows to involve EFCC, ICPC others in recovery of outstanding funds contained in it’s 2018 audit report
By Kenneth Folarin, Abuja
Newly appointed Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji has vowed to ensure the recovery of revenue due the government put at N69.5 billion and $5.31 billion, both contained in the agency’s 2018 audit report.
The money he stated consist of payments on oil and gas royalty, gas flare penalties, petroleum profit tax, company income, education tax, withholding tax, value added tax and NNDC levy.
Speaking during the inaugural press briefing/interactive session in Abuja on Tuesday, Dr. Orji said the agency under his regime will not be comfortable with merely releasing reports.
“Our emphasis will be on these and other recoverable revenues due to government while ensuring that companies are treated fairly and given the opportunity to grow.”
According to him, NEITI will unveil a framework that will involve stakeholders with members drown from the agency and the respective entities.
“The joint committee will be similar to the one established between NEITI and the NNPC and is without prejudice to the revitalisation of the Inter Ministerial Task Team on remediation as a multi-sectoral approach.
“Deeper engagement with the companies and exposure to their peculiar business models and operations will be deployed. The approach will create opportunities for NEITI to appreciate their locations, peculiar nature of their operations and workflow. The essence is to build trust, knowledge sharing and technical capability,” he said.
He further noted that agencies such as the EFCC, ICPC, and other financial institutions would be involved in the effort to recover the funds. He vowed that the agency will be committed to strengthening the powers and functions of NEITI, pursue passage and accent of the petroleum industry bill (PIB), broadening and deepening the base of NEITI’s communications/stakeholders engagement, stronger CSO/Media engagement/oversight among other functions.