Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) TuesdayÂ disclosed that it had appointed an indigenous audit firm to undertake its annual independent audit of operations in Nigeriaâ€™s oil and gas industry for the year 2015.
It stated in a statement from its Director of Communications, Dr. Orji Ogbonanya Orji, in Abuja that its National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) had ratified the appointment of Haruna Yahaya & Co, to conduct the oil and gas audit exercise.
Haruna Yahaya & Co, had previously undertaken two of NEITIâ€™s audit cycles in the solid minerals sector.
NEITI however, said the decision of the NSWG was based on a competitive contract process it undertook with support from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). The exercise, it added would be concluded in November.
The extractive sector transparency agency also stated that it recorded up to 94 per cent compliance to its request for participation and provision of timely and accurate information in the audit report from companies and relevant government agencies that would be covered by the exercise.
It said 14 companies complied fully with it request and thus ranked amongst the top in its ranking table. The companies, it explained were Chevron Nigeria Ltd; Consolidated; Continental; Eroton; Esso Exploration; Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited; and Niger Delta Petroleum Resources.
Others within the 100 per cent compliance ranking include Nigeria Gas Company (NGC); Orient Energy; Star Deepwater Petroleum; and Waltersmith Petroman.
NEITI noted that two government agencies – the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) also recorded 100 per cent compliance in the ranking.
It noted that five companies namely, Shoreline; Statoil; Petrobas; Mid-Western; and ND Western, scored between 98 and 94 per cent, while 20 other companies scored between 80 and 88 per cent in the ranking table. Another 12 also recorded between 72 and 75 per cent. Four companies, it noted however failed to make submissions before the deadline.
NEITI explained that the compliance ranking focused mainly on two major critical areas in the audit value chain, and they include timeliness and completeness in submission of information and data requested by it in the audit templates.
It said that timeliness measured when the covered entities submitted the templates, while completeness considered how many of the applicable templates were submitted.
The statement quoted the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio to have said about the ranking exercise that: â€œWe decided to rank companies and government agencies covered by the NEITI audit process so as to incentivise timely and complete compliance.â€
Adio added: â€œGiven that this is the first time we are doing this, we are very impressed with the compliance rate. We commend the high fliers and call for improvement from others. We want to see a situation where all the entities score 100 per cent possibly by next year.â€™â€™
NEITI stated that data collection and voluntary submission in the audit process was a major step in the independent audit value chain.