By Emmanuel Addeh
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said that compliance to its benchmarks by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) as well as companies in the oil and gas sector rose by over 200 per cent in 2019 compared to previous years.
The assessment examined the level of compliance by entities to the data gathering component of the audit process with focus on two indicators: template timeliness and template completeness.
The organisation, therefore, commended companies and government agencies covered by its 2019 oil and gas industry audit exercise for improved compliance in their submission of the audit templates used for data gathering.
A statement by the Director, Communications and Advocacy of NEITI, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji, stated that the Executive Secretary of the body, Mr. Waziri Adio, made the comments while releasing the report of the compliance assessment in Abuja.
It stated that highlights of the compliance report showed that 49 entities, representing 68 per cent of the 72 entities covered, attained the maximum score of 100 per cent.
“One entity scored 95 per cent while another scored 93 per cent. Four entities scored 88 per cent, while two entities scored 75 per cent, and two entities also scored 50 per cent.
“One entity each scored 81 per cent, 72 per cent, 70 per cent, 68 per cent, 67 per cent, 63 per cent, 59 per cent, 40 per cent, 20 per cent and 18 per cent. Finally, three scored 0 per cent,” it stated.
Further analysis showed that out of the 72 entities covered by the exercise, 58 or 81 per cent of the entities assessed scored between 75 per cent and above, while 66 or 92 per cent of the entities scored between 50 per cent and above.
“The exercise evaluated participating companies and government agencies on a scale of 0 per cent to 100 per cent using the two indicators mentioned above,” it stated.
According to NEITI, while zero per cent showed total non-compliance with the data collection process for the audit, 100 per cent indicated total compliance with the data collection process.
“The data submission compliance rate for the 2019 oil and gas audit is very impressive,” said Adio.
He added: “It is remarkable not just because of the massive improvement across the board but also because this improved compliance happened with all the restrictions imposed by Covid-19.
“This underscores the strong commitment of the affected companies and the government agencies. We commend them and urge them to keep it up.”
Adio stated that while timeliness looked at submission of templates within the agreed deadline, completeness focused on submission of all templates applicable to each entity.
He said NEITI’s first compliance exercise focusing on the 2015 oil and gas industry audit cycle was published in August 2017, stressing that a comparative analysis of the assessment scores for the 2015 and 2019 oil and gas data submission exercise showed improved compliance among covered entities.
“In 2019, 49 entities (out of 72) scored 100 per cent in the compliance score, while 14 entities (out of 65) scored 100 per cent in 2015. Thus, 68 per cent of the covered entities fully complied in 2019, while 21.54 per cent fully complied in 2015.
“With 68 per cent of entities fully compliant in 2019, as opposed to 21.54 per cent of entities in 2015, full compliance improved by over 200 between 2015 and 2019,” the NEITI’s report further stated.
A further breakdown showed that nine entities retained their 2015 compliance scores of 100 per cent in 2019, while three entities moved from 0 per cent in 2015 to 100 per cent in 2019.
The report also revealed that 14 entities recorded a drop in their compliance scores. The biggest drop was from 88 per cent in 2015 to 0 per cent in 2019.
“NEITI’s plan to release the 2019 report this year is on course, as the data gathering, data validation and reconciliation stages of the exercise have been concluded,” the organisation noted.