President Goodluck Jonathan Monday directed all agencies affected by the oil and gas revenue disclosure audit reports of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to recover an outstanding $9.6 billion shortfall uncovered by its audit reports on Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
A statement signed by the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja, disclosed that Jonathan gave the directive when he received the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) of NEITI at the State House.
Ahmed explained that Jonathan in this light, requested the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, to immediately set in motion processes of reconstituting the Inter Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on the implementation of NEITI findings and recommendations with requisite high-ranking officers who have appropriate levels of authority.
According to her, the president commended NEITI for its courage, diligence and commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of Nigeria’s extractive sector, which has resulted in the exposure of under payments and under assessments of what companies in the sector ought to pay to the federation coffers.
“President Jonathan also directed that NEITI principles and operations be fully integrated into the ongoing government’s economic reform agenda.
“He commended NEITI for winning the global award for Nigeria as the best implementing country of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s ranking by the global body,” she noted.
The statement further said the Chairman of NEITI’s NSWG, Mr. Ledum Mitee, had earlier called for Jonathan’s intervention in addressing the funding challenges of the agency.