Business News

NNPC insists no public funds was withheld as EITI rates it high on transparency

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited. Mele Kyari, has denied reports that the state-owned oil giant failed to remit some public funds into the federation account.

Kyari, in a clarification of non-remittance of $2 billion into the federation account, expressed disappointment with Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) for going public with its report that NNPC failed to remit some monies into the Federation Account instead of seeking clarification on any perceived gap in its assessment.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of the NNPC, Olufemi Soneye, noting that Kyari insisted that NNPC was not holding any public fund.

Alleged non-remitted funds meant for subsidy payment

According to the NNPC Spokesperson, Kyari explained that NNPC Ltd. was holding no public funds back and that what NEITI reported as non-remittance was what was due to the company as payment for taking the burden of fuel subsidy on behalf of the Federal Government.

He disclosed that NNPC Ltd. would have released its Audited Financial Statement (AFS) for 2022 since June 2023 but could not do so because it had no substantive Board of Directors at that time, adding that the AFS will be published on the company’s website in the next few days.

EITI rates NNPC high for transparency

Meanwhile, the global transparency body, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), has scored NNPC Ltd very high in its latest global assessment.

This was disclosed by EITI’s Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Bady Baldé, during a visit by an EITI delegation to Kyari, in Abuja on Thursday.

Baldé, who said the delegation’s visit was to communicate the group’s findings in its recent global assessment to the company said NNPC Ltd. fared very well among companies in the same category, adding that only Equinox of Norway fared better than NNPC Ltd. in the assessment.

He, however, said there was still room for NNPC Ltd. to improve, stressing that compliance with global EITI standards will help boost the company’s credibility.

The EITI boss also urged NNPC Ltd. to remain engaged to play an active role in its Nigerian unit, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

On his part, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, called for the reconstitution of the NNPC/NEITI Joint Committee on Reconciliation, stressing that the committee could help in straightening out any grey areas.

What you should know

  • Recall that in September 2023, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji, during the presentation of the 2021 Oil and Gas report said the NNPC failed to remit the sum of $2 billion to the federation account.
  • Orji said the oil and gas industry generated over $23 billion in 2021, adding that the revenue sources included sales of crude oil and gas, taxes, royalties, concession rental, gas flare penalty, bonus and license fees, and transportation fees

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