The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency on Tuesday said the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative was confusing the public with its recently released audit report of the oil and gas industry covering the period 2009 to 2011.
While appealing to NEITI to desist from confusing the public further, the PPPRA said NEITI appeared to have embarked on a wild-goose chase instead of addressing the issues at stake.
The NEITI audit report had recommended that the PPPRA should remit N4.423bn arising from over-recovery collected from oil marketers to the Federation Account.
The organisation had maintained that its report was factual and stressed that the PPPRA was contacted before the findings of the audit were made public.
But the Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Mr. Reginald Stanley, said, “We challenge NEITI to tell Nigerians where the N4.423bn 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 account is domiciled.
“It should also go a step further by examining 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 is self-seeking in its putrid claims.”
Stanley also faulted NEITI’s 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.
He said there was never a time the audit report was signed off by the PPPRA management and challenged NEITI to make a copy of the report where it signed off available to the public to prove its claim.
The PPPRA boss cited a section of the NEITI report that claimed that N3.715bn had yet to be refunded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and two other marketers, NIPCO Plc and AMG Petro-Energy Limited.
He said the report was incongruous with the realities of what was outstanding in the over-recovery, which was N3.98bn, owed only by the NNPC.
Information from Punch was used in this report.