BY MICHAEL EBOH
The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, yesterday, cleared the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, over the remittance of the sum of N4.423 billion to the Federation Account.
This was made known after a reconciliatory meeting between NEITI and the PPPRA over the recently released 2009-2011 Industry Audit in the Oil and Gas Sector, and the findings as they affect PPPRA.
According to a joint statement issued by both agencies, signed by Zainab Ahmed, Executive Secretary, NEITI and Reginald Stanley, Executive Secretary, PPPRA, the sum of N4.423 billion in dispute has been reconciled and traced to the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
They stated further, “There is nothing outstanding against PPPRA on the said amount. The meeting evolved strategies for both NEITI and PPPRA to address other issues arising from the NEITI Report, using the platform of Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) set up by Mr. President to address remedial issues arising from NEITI’s Report.
“The meeting also resolved to ensure effective communication network between the two Agencies for effective Inter-Agency cooperation in pursuit of their mandates.”
NEITI, had in its report released a couple of days ago that the PPPRA remit all funds amounting to N4.423 billion arising from the over-recovery collected to the Federation Account.
It stated that from the findings of the report, the subsidy payments made through NNPC increased from N198 billion in 2009 to N416 billion in 2010 and nearly doubled when it rose to N786 billion in 2011, adding that during the same period, subsidy paid through PPPRA increased from N208 billion in 2009 to N278 billion in 2010 and also increased astronomically to N1.12 trillion in 2011.
In its response, PPPRA, debunked the audit report saying it is steeped in inaccuracies and gross misrepresentation of facts.
According to the PPPRA, the report has glaring potential to mislead the public and further cast aspersions on the activities of the PPPRA as a key administrator of the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF).
NEITI, however, insisted that the PPPRA has not remitted the sum of N4.423 billion recovered from the independent marketers to the Federation account.
NEITI while faulting PPPRA over its denials that it was not involved in the audit process where the discovery was made, said the N4.423 billion was still in the possession of the agency since it failed to provide the evidence of remittance of the sum to the Federation account.