Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that an audited financial account containing details of its operations in 2016 would be ready by the end 2017, while that of 2015 would be out by the end of August 2017.
Though the NNPC had lately begun to publish a monthly report of its operations in Nigeria’s oil industry, it has, however, not published annual audited account of its operations for a very long time.
While the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) had stated that the NNPC last submitted its audited account in 2014, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) in 2016 carpeted it for allegedly failing to provide its audited financial statements to it since 2011.
FRC said the corporation’s last audited financial statement was that of 2009, adding that the development was a blatant violation of section 23 (3) of the Financial Responsibility Act (FRA) 2007.
But the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated in a recent statement from the corporation that its 2015 and 2016 audited financial accounts would be ready in 2017. The statement was signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja.
It explained Baru made this pledge when the AGF, Mr. Anthony Ayine, paid him a visit.
Baru said the NNPC was becoming a lot more transparent and accountable in the way it did business in the industry, adding that its management and staff had also embraced the new changes.
He stated that the corporation would no longer defer audits of its accounts, adding that the era of unpublished or accumulated audit accounts in the NNPC was gone.
“This explains why we publish our operations and financial reports every month so that not only your office but the general public could follow the trail. I don’t think there is any government institution that has demonstrated this level of transparency,” said Baru in the statement.
He reportedly said the corporation hopes to conclude on the 2015 audited account latest by the end of August 2017, while preparation of the 2016 audited account which began about a month ago would be concluded by the end of 2017.
The GMD noted that as an entity, the NNPC had a mandate to ensure that Nigeria reaped bountifully from the proceeds of its vast hydrocarbon resources. According to him, its management would be willing at all times to adopt measures to realise this objective
Ayine, who led his team to the corporation, stated that it had become imperative to acknowledge NNPC’s recent efforts at keeping up with probity; accountability; and transparency in its operations and processes.
Commending Baru, he said: “I note with delight that he (Baru) assumed office in July last year but he has done quite a number of things worthy of commendation. Let me also note with delight that the information available to me is that the audited accounts of NNPC that were in arrears are now audited up to 31st December 2014.”
Ayine also noted that his office was delighted to note the significant changes in the NNPC, as well as Baru’s assurance that auditors from his office would be given more access to the corporation’s books during their periodic checks.