26 March 2012

Nigeria: NEITI Begins Audit of CBN, FIRS, NNPC

The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Sunday said it had begun 'a comprehensive' auditing of the solid minerals, oil and gas sectors.

NEITI's Director of Communications, Dr. Orji Orji, who disclosed this in an interview with the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in London, said the exercise which commenced in February would be concluded in October.

Orji listed the organisations being audited to include the NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources, Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

"While the audit of the oil and gas industry covers the period 2009 to 2011, that of the solid minerals is to cover 2007 to 2010," Orji said.

He said NEITI's comprehensive audit of the establishments was to sanitise the sector, enthrone good business ethics and restore investor confidence.

"All companies operating in the oil and gas and solid minerals sectors in the country are compulsorily required by NEITI law to open its books and provide relevant information and data, on demand for purposes of the audit," he stressed.

Orji further explained that NEITI had already designed audit templates with detailed questions, information and data required for the exercise.

He said the templates were recently publicly presented to all companies doing business in the Nigeria's solid minerals sector.

Orji described as encouraging, the cooperation of listed companies for the exercise, but warned that companies that failed to respond to audit query risk withdrawal of licence or prosecution.

He explained that the scope of the audit, largely include the determination of the revenue accruable to government from the companies and how much of it went into the Federation Account.

NEITI was inaugurated in 2004 with the mandate to promote due process and transparency in the extractive industry.

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