The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has submitted the report of $74.386 billion spent on fuel subsidy by successive administrations since 2011 to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts.
Executive secretary/CEO of NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji handed over the report to the chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Bamidele Salam during an interactive session in Abuja.
According to him, the Agency has compiled the actual amount paid as subsidy on yearly basis.
Orji also disclosed that the sum of N16.25 trillion was lost to unabated crude oil theft, based on data collated and signed off by the Operators and other stakeholders
According to him, the Agency also uncovered over $8.3 billion unremitted revenue by some privately owned oil companies and federal government owned Agencies which was not paid into the Federation Account, in deviance to the provisions in the extant financial regulations.
He however noted that the Agency is working with various enforcement Institutions including Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as well as Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) in the bid to recover the find into government’s coffers.
“And we have a breakdown of what was paid each year. We have also got a conversion of what that can possibly translate to.”
He also told the panel that $16.25 billion was lost to oil theft in Nigeria stating that the data was arrived at from data collected from various sign offs by operators and government agencies.
“In the course of this job, we have incentivised a lot of recoveries for the government because between what is paid and what was recovered, a lot of money in foreign exchange developed wings. Company A will say we paid $1 million and you go to the account of the receiving agency and you find out that either half of that money was not received or more is received more than what was paid because of poor record keeping and carelessness,” he said.
While rolling out the last report NEITI released on September 25, 2023, Orji disclosed that the PAC is now a natural ally of his agency and he will give it all the maximum cooperation needed.
“In that report alone, over $8.3 billion were unremitted funds on the part of some government agencies and companies. Our concern is that, this is at a time when the government is going borrowing. So, we bring this information with incisive and empirical information and data with evidence and table it.
“We have also released the same report on the solid mineral sector and all the information and data are provided. On the 9th of November, we are releasing the last report for the year which is on fiscal allocation and statutory disbursements.
“Every year, under the NEITI framework, we ask the question, how much money do the companies pay to the government. How much of that money does the government receive? Where is the money? What did we use the money for? And in the wisdom of the National Assembly in formulating the law, we said we shouldn’t just say no to the only money the government received or how much the companies paid but we should ask if they pay what they should pay and if the government receives what they should receive.
“The revenue that was made, who got what and how, were the sharing formular followed, what of the 13% derivation fund, what of those statutory receivers like TETFUND, PTDF, like INEC and all those that received the Extractive sector directly from the revenue account.
“Where do they trace the money for the account, where did it go? Sometimes we take all of these for granted but it’s not always like that. If you go through this report and follow up you’ll be shocked that it’s not just sharing and allocation. Getting to the people, the government and the right sources has also been a huge challenge and that is what we’re been battling with,” the NEITI helmsman told the Committee.