Executive Secretary of NEITI, Zainab Ahmed
The planned audit of Nigeria’s statutory allocation and disbursement of revenues accruing from the extractive industries by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) will also evaluate the robustness of her revenue sharing formula, NEITI has said.
NEITI said Wednesday in Abuja that the audit which will focus on how revenues that accrued to the federation account from the extractive sector between 2007 and 2011 were shared between Nigeria’s three tiers of government and some agencies would perhaps proffer a healthier revenue sharing formula.
It stated at a workshop to adopt templates for the audit exercise that the federal, state and local governments, as well as several relevant government agencies would participate in the audit process.
NEITI explained that the process would not only seek to audit how incomes were distributed and utilised but also develop a sustainable revenue sharing formula if need be to halt apparent disagreement amongst parties in the distribution principle.
The audit accordingly, will cover such federal and regulated agencies like the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Ministry of Finance.
Also to be covered are the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Budget Office of the Federation, CBN department of natural resources, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Government’s share of derivation and ecology fund.
Some beneficiaries of the Federal Government agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) will also come under the purview of the audit.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Zainab Ahmed, who spoke through NEITI’s Director of Communication, Orji Ogbonanya Orji, noted that the new audit process was geared to cap NEITI’s efforts at instilling transparency in the management of Nigeria’s extractive resources.
She stated that the process was backed by the Federal Government in line with its stated transformation of operations in Nigeria’s extractive sector.
“When we signed on to the EITI, the indication was that information on resource management and revenue allocation will be made available to Nigerians to aid them in asking the right questions.
“The EITI is asking what government has used revenues from the sector to achieve over the years. It is asking for basis for allocation and distribution of revenues but for the Federal Government to allow this audit on operations in the sector shows that it is interested in transforming the sector and this is supported by it to ensure reduction in revenue distribution acrimonies,” Ahmed said.
Accordingly, the audit will be undertaken by indigenous audit, tax and assurances firm, SIAO professional services at the cost of N148 million, with nine months audit duration.