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NEITI denies indicting NNPC in missing oil money

13 March 2014, 12:56

Abuja - The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Wednesday explained its position on the alleged complicity of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with Swiss oil dealers to scam the nation.

A statement by NEITI Director of Communication, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, in Abuja said the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Zainab Ahmed, who testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream on February 26, 2014, was quoted out of context.

Orji explained that NEITI’s presentation to the committee was based on the findings and recommendations of its 2009-2011 Independent Oil and Gas Industry Audit Report, saying, “since NEITI’s appearance at that public hearing, we are concerned that the contents of our presentation to the esteemed committee have been largely misconceived, misinterpreted and misrepresented by some sections of the media.”

 "The media report from that presentation attributed to NEITI that “the nation loses $8 billion yearly through crude oil swap. This is not only wrong but misleading. What NEITI presented and explained at that hearing was that there is no cost efficiency in the transactions with the offshore processing organisations.

“By this, we mean that the total cost of offshore processing when compared with the reported price of PMS, DPK, AGO and other retained products proceeds paid to NNPC is not economically beneficial to the country. This is as a result of the under-deliveries of petroleum products to the tune of $866 million by the companies involved in the swap.

“From the same presentation, another report attributed to NEITI stated that the agency has uncovered $22.8 billion unremitted funds to the Federation. This report carried by several newspapers is equally inaccurate.

It added that the presentation does not mean that NEITI has discovered some funds hidden somewhere or monies that were unaccounted for by the NNPC.

“That was why NEITI recommended that all alternative funding arrangements should be disclosed in the audited financial statements of NNPC for clarity and openness in line with the NEITI principles.”

-    NAN

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