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NEITI Audit Report: Senate Tasks Executive to Recover Unremitted Funds

The Nigerian Senate on Thursday has called on the Executive arm of government ensure the recovery of unremitted funds accruing to the federation from Nigeria’s extractive neitiindustries while also prosecuting those found culpable of running afoul of the law.

This position was expressed at the plenary session of the Senate on Wednesday, following the presentation of the 2013 Audit report of the National Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative to by its Executive Secretary, Mr Waziri Adio, which was in line with section 4 (4) of the 2007 NEITI () Act.

Mr Adio told the Senate that Nigeria made only 33.8 million Naira from the solid minerals sector, basically from laterite, sand and gold and that the total money lost by Nigeria from the extractive process in 2013 were $5.9 billion due to vandalism and N20 billion because the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation did not observe a 90 days credit grace.

In 2013 the country produced 800.3 million barrels and out of that, the country made 58.07 billion dollars and that represents an eight-per cent reduction from the 62.9 billion dollars the country made in 2012. The issue is that there are some monies that were withheld, lost or underpaid for different reasons. The first is in the category of the non-remitted, and the non-remitted amounted to 3.8 billion dollars and N358 million. The second category is the category of losses. Because of some inefficient practices and theft among other things, the country lost 5.9 billion dollars and N20 billion. N20 billion was lost because the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) did not observe the 90 days credit grace, Mr Adio said.

Responding to questions from the Senators, Mr Adio noted that corruption basically stemmed from the lack of accountability plus monopoly and discretion while also noting that even though some individuals were currently being investigate by security agencies with regards to the report, no defaulter had been publicly prosecuted.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while commending Mr Adio for the report recommended NEITI to work even closer with security operative so as to ensure that unaccounted funds can be traced and defaulters punished.

The report was consequently referred to an adhoc committee who were to report back in 3 weeks’ time. Apart from looking into the report, the ad hoc committee would ensure the findings of discrepancies in the oil, gas and mining sectors have relevant agencies that were established by law to enforce the findings of those discrepancies.

Also at the plenary session, 5 bills were presented for first reading. These bills include

  • Lobbying regulation bill, 2016 (SB. 258) sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye
  • Nigerian Assets Management Agency (Establishment and Regulatory) Bill, 2016 (SB. 285) sponsored by Senator Mustapha Bukar
  • Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2016 (SB. 298) sponsored by Senator Babajide Omoworare
  • Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2016 (SB. 299) also sponsored by Senator Babajide Omoworare
  • Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, 2016 (SB. 301) sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi 

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