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Reps Receive NEITI Report, To Begin Forensic Probe Of N8trn Unremitted Revenue, Subsidy Scam

The House of Representatives at its plenary Wednesday received the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2021 Oil and Gas Report.

The report presentation, which was in line with Section 4(3) of the NEITI Act, was laid by the sponsor and chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere, co-sponsored by chairman Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

After receiving the report, the House referred it to its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream) to carry out thorough investigation into unremitted and misappropriated oil revenues, shoddy contracts, extra-budgetary expenditure by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of federal government, to tune of N8trillion.

Ugochinyere had while laying the report, noted that Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) empowers the National Assembly to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation or any part thereof.

He also noted that Order 18 Rule 75(2)(k) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives grants jurisdiction over the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream).

He said the House was aware that Section 4 (3) of the NEITI Act provides that NEITI shall cause its Report to be presented to the National Assembly for review and debate.

Ugochinyere said the lawmakers were also aware that the establishment of NEITI in 2004 was part of government’s overall economic and institutional reforms to ensure transparency and accountability in the governance of the abundant natural resources in Nigeria, which form the mainstay of the national economy.

He said the lawmakers were further aware that by the provisions of the Act, NEITI is to provide crucial facts, recommendations, information and data required by the government to promote constructive engagements, public debates, discussions, dialogue, and advocacy to push for oil sector reforms.

The lawmaker took into cognisance the fact that since the enactment of the NEITI Act in 2004, no session of the House of Representatives has ever received and debated the Report of NEITI, as required by Section 4(3) of the Act.

He expressed displeasure that the 2021 Oil and Gas Report disclosed a rise in the amount of unremitted revenues to the Federation to the tune of $9.85 billion and a total crude oil and gas revenue of $23.046 billion, signalling a 13 per cent increase from the total of $20.430 billion realized in 2020.

He noted that according to the NEITI Report, 54 companies accounted for a total metered crude oil production of 634.60 million barrels. Out of this, 68.47 million barrels were lost to production adjustments, measurement error and theft/sabotage, leaving a balance of 566.13 million barrels.

Ugochinyere said, “Aware that the 2021 Oil and Gas Report was publicly unveiled and presented on Monday 18th September, 2023 with far-reaching findings and recommendations that are critical to the development of the oil and gas sector. Acknowledges that this year’s NEITI Oil and Gas Report presentation is coming at a time when the government needs to block all revenue leakages, grow its income generation opportunities and retrieve all debts owed to it by oil companies within the sector.

“Alarmed that according to the NEITI Report, the unremitted revenues consist of $278.813muillion earned by the Federation from tral marketing under the First Exploration and Production JV, $7.61million from OML 116 operated by Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and $5.85 billion proceeds from the sales of domestic crude oil, including about $871.15million unremitted crude oil sales. Worried that according to the NEIT! Report, the total outstanding taxes payable to FIRS as at 315 of July 2023, was US$ 13.591million while the total amount of outstanding Federation revenue payable to NUPRC as at 31% of December 2022 stood at US$8.251 billion.

“Bothered that for Downstream operations, NEITI reported that the volume of PMS imported in 2021 under the Direct Sale Direct Purchase (OSDP) arrangement based on NNPCL’s records was significantly different from the volume of PMS imported into as per NUDPRA records which indicates that there is No independent third-party confirmation of product importation volume and subsidy value. Determined that in line with the resolve of the Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abass and Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu leadership; to champion a People’s Parliament in 10″ House of Representatives, it is necessary that the House do receive the 2021 NEITI oil and Gas Report.”