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Senate invites NEITI secretary over missing N1trn

The Senate on Thursday invited Mr Waziri Adio, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), to brief it on an alleged one trillion naira missing in the oil and gas industry.

The invitation followed a motion by Senator Tijjani Yahaya (APC-Zamfara North) on fraudulent activities in the oil and gas industry as contained in the 2013 NEITI audit and financial report.

Moving the motion, Yahaya said that the N362 billion was outstanding payment from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries in 2013.

He said the outstanding was unpaid consideration from divested Oil Mining Leases from NNPC to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NDPC) and cash call refunds by National Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS).

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Yahaya also said the report indicated that between 2005 and 2013, N13 billion dollars paid by Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to NNPC was not remitted to the federation account.

“The NEITI report showed that the country lost 5.966 billion dollars and N20.4 billion in the sector from the operation of the Offshore Processing Agreements by state oil firm, NNPC, crude oil swap and theft among others.

“The sum of 599.98 million dollars was reported in the audit as underpayments to the federation from petroleum profit taxes and royalties by oil and gas companies as a result of use of different pricing methodology by government.

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“In spite of several similar reports of fraudulent activities in the oil and gas industry, government over the years has not come out with any clearly defined action to recover such squandered monies,’’ he said.

In his remark, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said it was important for the NEITI boss to appear before the assembly to substantiate the audit report.

He expressed concern that the country was losing such amount of money, which could be used for development projects.

“I had the opportunity of receiving the NEITI management and they came with the report.

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“When you look at unexplained losses, close to one trillion naira, I felt this matter is too enormous for us to just allow it to sleep.

“It is not for us to debate the report today. We have sought the leave of the Senate to allow the NEITI boss to come and explain to the whole Senate.

“This matter is too huge. If you look at the total budget of the country, it is six trillion naira and here we are talking of revenue losses of one trillion naira,’’ he said

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