The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is reviewing its 2020-2021 reports of the oil, gas and mining industries for stakeholders’ input for approval and release.
Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary, NEITI said this at the Stakeholders’ Roundtable for the Review and Approval of NEITI Audit Reports on Wednesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the reports sought to establish the revenue paid by oil, gas and mining companies and how much of such revenues were actually received into government coffers.
The reports covered a total of 69 companies and 12 government agencies and one state owned enterprise for the oil and gas reports.
A total of 1, 214 companies with three government agencies were covered in the reports of the solid minerals, which aimed at establishing the quantities of minerals produced and utilised in the country.
Orji said other areas of focus by NEITI were to identify investments made by the federation or the federal government in the oil, gas and mining industries, track subsidy payments and company remittances and liabilities.
“The processes followed, especially on the basis for computation and remittances of all revenues payable to government such as taxes, royalties and rents, are equally of interest to NEITI.
“We hope that after this review and approval process, the independent auditors who are part of this meeting will in collaboration with NEITI staff reflect your comments, observations and remarks in the reports before they are finalised and released,’’ he said.
The executive secretary said the stakeholders meeting was to consider and approve the NEITI reports, which had been submitted by the Independent Administrators, Messrs Taju Audu and Co and Amedu Onekpe and Co.
He said the NEITI standard, which provided guidance to its operations, required that the Multi Stakeholders Group (MSG) which oversees the EITI reporting process and implementation in countries approve the industry reports produced before being released to the public.
He said in Nigeria, the MSG known as the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) was among the board of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) dissolved by the president on June 19, 2023.
“After extensive consultation with the international secretariat, it was agreed that representative companies, civil societies, media and government should be invited to review, deliberate and approve the reports.
He said its immediate priorities were to release the 2020-2021 oil, gas and mining reports and the fiscal allocation and statutory disbursement reports consequent upon the approval it would get.
According to him, its priorities also include conduct of the 2022-2023 industry reports in the oil, gas and mining sector and linking of NEITI reports to revenue growth and impact and updating data and information on all financial liabilities.
These, he said, would support government’s revenue mobilisation for development and upgrade of infrastructure.
The stakeholders and civil society organisations also commended the NEITI management on its efforts and doggedness in producing the reports which they said had aided the economic growth.
Ms Faith Nwadishi, Executive Director, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), lauded NEITI for blazing the trail and setting standards for transparency and good governance in the country.
She also commended the media for its support and enlightenment. (NAN)