… Stakeholders Seek Investigation Into Unremitted Funds
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and AGIP have been fingered in non-remittance of more tha $14 billion to the federation account.
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Stakeholders in the extractive sector have called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the non remittance of monies by various firms into the etroleumfederation account.
These were the position of participants at the Stakeholders’ Dialogue on the 2013 NEITI Reports held in Abuja.
They said the anti graft agencies should pry into issues relating to non remittance as monies are daily being lost by the Federal Government.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio reeled out a list of some of the unremitted funds to include; $763 million and N351.8 billion for AGIP liftings and domestic crude sales respectively. Also, unremitted to the Federal Government by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was $13 billion paid to it by the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) over a period of 8 years.
In addition, an outstanding $1.7 billion from divestment from 8 oil blocs by NNPC was yet to be paid into government’s coffers. Moreover, $414 million and N249.2 million further form outstanding cash call refunds on OML 26 in the NNPC/SPDC divested asset not remitted to government.
The Executive Secretary noted there was need for the government to review its tax reporting system and put in place a sector specific fiscal regime for the country. “This will improve controls over sector revenues, transparency and traceability of income.”
The NEITI boss wondered why despite been paid $358 million for 4 assets, it failed to remit the money to government coffers.
“We cannot continue to run our country like this,”he said.
In a chat, Rights activist, Jaye Gaskia, asserted that it was time the President begin to take personal responsibility for the implementation of the NEITI report knowing it is the mainstay of the economy.
According to him, “he should not just leave it to inter-ministerial committees.”
He therefore called on Nigerians to begin to take interest in the report as it outcome impacts on their livelihood.
“If you are a public servant in a local government or a state and your governor tells you allocation has dwindled from N8 to N3 billion monthly, the basic reason is what is happening in the oil and gas sector-non remittance of funds to the federation account. All these have very serious impact on the amount that gets into the federation account and the amount that is shared by the 3-tiers of government……if you are not getting your salary it is because of these things,” he added.
Fielding questions from journalists after the opening section of the meeting, former Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, said the government quickly carry out an investigation in order to recover the unremitted funds.
“The government needs to move in immediately. All those money that needs to be paid into the federation account should be paid immediately.” There are all so recommendations for further investigation. The anti- corruption agencies should do that immediately.