The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) yeterday commenced audit of the petroleum and solid minerals sectors.
Audit of the petroleum sector will cover the period between 2009 and 2011, while the Solid Mineral sector which is the first in Nigeria's history will cover the period between 2007 and 2010.
Two indigenous firms - Sada Idris & Co and Haruna Yahaya & Co signed the final agreements to commence the projects.
Speaking at the signing of the agreements, the Executive Secretary of the NEITI, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed said the time line for the conclusion of the two projects is nine months.
According to her, the audit is necessary as it promotes a culture and consensual framework for reporting and disclosure of payments and receipts in the extractive industry sector.
She noted that in the past, information on who paid or received what as tax, royalty, bonuses, levies in Nigeria's oil and gas and solid mineral sectors were treated as confidential information.
She said the NEITI audit generates accurate data and credible information on flows of revenue, physical volumes of production of crude oil, exposes governance or management process lapses and makes recommendations on how the resources can be prudently managed to support national development.
Zainab noted that Nigeria was four years behind in the audits.
She said "For me personally and the new team in NEITI, this is not acceptable.
We are determined to make NEITI audits regular, comprehensive in content and timely in responding to national questions over governance and transparency in the extractive industry."
She called on all the agencies, private organisations and individuals to cooperate with the auditors and allow them do their jobs without hindrance.