The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA has appealed to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, to desist from confusing the public further on its audit report which said that the PPPRA should remit N4.423 billion to the Federation Account.
In a swift reaction to NEITI’s statement affirming that it stood by its controversial audit report, the Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Mr Reginald Stanley, told reporters in Abuja that “NEITI appeared to have embarked on a wild-goose chase, instead of addressing the issues at stake”.
He said there was never a time the audit report was ‘signed-off’ by the management of the PPPRA, challenging NEITI to make a copy of the sign-off public, to prove its claim against PPPRA.
On July 29, NEITI released its 2009-2011 audit report on the oil and gas sector, recommending that the PPPRA should remit N4.423 billion, arising from “over-recovery” to the Federation Account.
“We challenge NEITI to tell Nigerians where the N4.423 billion it claims was warehoused. If NEITI is indeed, desirous of efficiently doing its job, we challenge it to go and consult the records at the Central Bank of Nigeria, where the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) account is domiciled. It should also go a step further by visiting the records at the Federal Ministry of Finance to confirm if certain amount of money as claimed was remitted accordingly or not by the PPPRA. To all intents and purposes, it is apparent that NEITI is on a wild-goose chase and self-seeking in its putrid claims,” he stated.
Stanley also faulted NEITI’s latest claim that “all the companies and government agencies covered by the audit, including the PPPRA were fully involved and participated actively in the audit process”.
The PPPRA chief cited a section of NEITI’s report that claimed that N3.715 billion was yet to be refunded by the NNPC and two other marketers, saying that NEITI’s report was incongruous with the realities of what was outstanding in over-recovery, “which is N3.98 billion owed only by the NNPC.