By Emma Ujah – Abuja
The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) has pledged to support the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in tracking oil and gas revenue that accrue to the Federal Government to ensure appropriate remittances.
The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, gave the pledge when he received the leadership of NEITI, led by the Executive Secretary (ES), Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, in his office, in Abuja.
The Director, Press, Mr. Henshaw Ogubike, in a statement, quoted Mr Idris as saying, “The Federal Treasury will partner and give the necessary support to NEITI to achieve efficient monitoring of oil and gas revenue accruals to the government,”
NEITI had last week, said that no one knew how much oil the nation was producing.
“We do not have capacity to go deep shores to know how much we are producing. As we speak, it is very difficult for any Nigerian to ascertain how much actually we are producing.
“This is one of the challenges that NEITI is dealing with because if you do not know how much you are producing, how would you know how much you are expected to earn.
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“Because the companies that go deep shore exploration are not indigenous Nigerian companies and they cannot really protect the interest of the country as much as Nigerians can.” Orji was quoted as saying, last week.
At Monday’s visit, the AGF commended NEITI effort to entrench probity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the country’s oil and gas revenues.
The move, he added, was in line with the federal government’s financial management reforms initiatives.
Mr Idris called for the integration of NEITI as an institutional partner in the federal government’s strategic revenue growth initiative.
He reasoned that integrating the agency into the initiative would be a big leap forward in government’s vision of improving revenue collection, mobilization and identifying additional sources of revenue.
The AGF noted that operating under obsolete laws has greatly hampered the activities of NEITI and called for periodic review of its Act and other laws that regulate the operations of the oil and gas sector to reflect current realities.
In his remarks, Dr Orji said NEITI was established to track remittances of oil and gas revenue accruing to the government, with a view to ensuring accountability.
He requested the support of the OAGF to effect requisite reforms in the management of the country’s oil and gas revenues.