NEITI Begins Nationwide Sensitisation On Conduct Of 2022-2023 Audit Reports


By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has begun nationwide sensitisation on the conduct of 2022-2023 Audit Reports of the oil, gas and mining companies, with the target on domestic resources mobilization.

NEITI’s Deputy Director/Head Communications and Stakeholders Management, Mrs Obiageli Onuorah disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

She said, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, while declaring open the nationwide sensitization workshops in Port Harcourt for South-South and South-East Zones, explained that domestic resource mobilization has become key to NEITI interventions in the industry as part of NEITI’s Mandates of enthroning transparency and accountability driven by public disclosure and blocking leakages.

The sensitization workshops, which began in Lagos last week continued in Port Harcourt to acquaint the agencies and companies covered by the report in the South-South and South-East zones with the templates designed for the exercise, sensitize stakeholders on the scope of the report and the data and information expected for the process.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI explained that the nationwide workshops were in line with the principles and standards of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

“The objectives of these industry reports are to establish and make public revenue flows through investment among the major players in the oil, gas and mining sectors, examine the financial, physical and process issues from, within and among the companies and relevant government agencies”. Dr. Orji noted.

According to the Executive Secretary: “The report will specifically, undertake special verification and validation of information and data on the payments made by the companies to government entities as well as government receipts. Other areas will include quantities and volume of crude produced, balances payable or receivable on certain financial transactions, taxes, royalties on project-by-project basis, social contributions and investment flows in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry”. Dr. Orji emphasised.

Similarly, the 2022-2023 solid minerals report would disclose data and information on quantities of solid minerals mined, quarried, processed, exported and imported, track the extractive industries sector fund collected by various Government Agencies to the Federation Account and reconcile the payments made by major players (companies/entities) to government in the sector during the period under review. These payments and receipts are in the form of Royalty, Ground Rents/Annual Surface Rents, Taxation, Levies etc.

The Executive Secretary further explained that regular extractive industry reports are one of the core statutory mandates of NEITI. Under Section 2 of the NEITI Act, 2007, NEITI has a responsibility of ensuring due process, transparency in the payments made by all extractive industry companies to the Federal Government, monitor and ensure accountability in the revenue receipts of Federal Government from extractive industry companies, among others.

Dr. Orji highlighted that the NEITI new sets of templates have also been designed to capture the new requirements as expected by the EITI. These new requirements include, mainstreaming, disclosure of covered entities’ anti-corruption policies and practices, threshold for reporting beneficial owners, Nigeria’s energy transition policies, carbon pricing and subsidies and its effect on government revenues.

Other areas to be covered by the reports are disclosures on environment, social and gender impact assessments of extractive activities and employment data in the industry.

The Executive Secretary assured of NEITI’s commitment to work closely with the companies and government under the EITI framework to create good business environment that encourages the inflow of more foreign direct investments into the extractive sector. For this to happen, the Executive Secretary “encouraged all companies to embrace transparency, accountability and corporate social responsibility in conformity with the EITI standards in other to build the confidence of investment partners”.

“Let me also inform you that this templates workshop will be followed immediately with the NEITI-Companies Forum engagement. The Miners’ Association and the Oil Producers Trade Section-OPTS reached a consensus to strengthen and deepen their involvement in the EITI process. They have demonstrated this commitment by participating physically and being present at all NEITI events in the past eight months”. Dr. Orji emphasised.

“The Federal Government has also acknowledged this commitment and endorsed it by including the two industry representatives as members of the newly constituted NEIT Board. This is with a bid to address the global EITI validation assessment on industry engagement which the EITI advised Nigeria to improve upon”.

He appealed to all government agencies as well as extractive industry companies covered by the reports to fully cooperate with the process as required by Law and within the timelines set for the completion of the exercise.

“I also wish to call on the media, civil society and other relevant stakeholders to help sensitize Nigerians on the importance of this report with a view to mobilizing support for the exercise. It is our belief that the next round of reports, which is currently underway and would be ready by Sept. 2024, would provide clear indicators on the level of progress and impact of the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in the oil and gas industry and the solid minerals road map”. Dr. Orji reaffirmed.

The workshops were attended by more than 200 representatives of the covered entities among them, the representatives of the NNPCL, NMDPRA, NUPRC, Shell, Seplat Energy, Julius Berger, Dangote Cement, Lafarge and other companies.

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