Shocked by the denial of the findings of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2009-2011 oil and gas audit report by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Nigeria, has disclosed that data used in arriving at the findings were actually supplied by the NNPC.
Addressing a press conference at the weekend, the National Coordinator of PWYP Nigeria, Faith Nwadishi, who represents the civil society on the Board of NEITI, stressed that NEITI does not manufacture data but that data used were supplied by all covered entities including the NNPC.
She said: “NEITI does not manufacture data; rather the report published by NEITI is a product of data statutorily supplied by entities covered in its audit, including the NNPC.
“Our worries in the case of the NEITI report audit stem from the fact that the NNPC is part and parcel of the NEITI framework, including the statutory membership of its GMD on the Board of NEITI. The NNPC is directly involved at all stages in the NEITI audit process from the design of audit templates, verification and reconciliation of data capture and validation.
“Also, it is part of the NEITI process that all agencies that took part in the audit sign off on drafted reports before they are released to the public. There is documented evidence that NNPC signed off on the current NEITI audit report before it was published,” she said.
Nwadishi maintained that the audit exercise was neither targeted at the NNPC nor aimed at discrediting any entity, pointing out that the audit is in line with EITI principle which is being implemented in 37 other countries including the USA and Norway, which Nigeria is a signatory to.
She however, noted that the NNPC’s denial follows similar trend with which it denied findings of the 1999-2004, 2005 and 2006-2008 NEITI audit reports respectively, as well as the House of Representative Ad Hoc Committee report of fuel subsidy and the KPMG report.
Some of the major findings of the report was that the NNPC owes the federation account N1.3 trillion ($8.3 billion) being dividends and loan repayments from the NLNG, as well as another N98.3 billion loss resulting as a result of favourable conversion rate used by the NNPC as against that approved by the CBN during the period of review.
But the NNPC has since faulted the report saying it was inaccurate, misleading and capable of misinforming the public.
By Juliet Alohan