By Chris Ochayi
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, insisted that the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency, 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.
Speaking at an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja, NEITI Director, Communications, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who said there was no trace of such payment, challenged the PPPRA to provide the proof that the money was actually remitted as required by law. Orji, who noted the duty of NEITI was not to fight or destroy PPPRA, said the N4.423 billion was missing and that the agency was in better position to tell the Nigerian public where the money is.
He said, “The NEITI reports further disclosed that the PPPRA could not account for the amount of N4.423 billion, which was paid by the marketers to the agency; the position of NEITI remains that this sum should have been and should be remitted to the Federation account by PPPRA. As at the time of this audit, there was no evidence, bank statement etc, that this remittance was made to the Federation account. NEITI wants to see proof that these remittances ever happened. This is the crux of the matter.”
According to him, “The attention of the NEITI has been once again been drawn to the sustained media campaign by the management of PPPRA in a futile effort to discredit the content of the recently released NEITI independent audit reports of the oil and gas industry as if affects the agency.
“The NEITI reports had recommended among others, that PPPRA remits over N4.4 billion which the agency recovered from the independent marketers to the Federation account as required by law. But the PPPRA instead of availing itself of the remedial measures outlined in the report, choose to contest the findings in the media through various newspapers publications especially on the major national dailies of Wednesday, August 8, 2013.”