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BudgIT Tasks Oil, Gas Regulatory Bodies On Performance

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BudgIT, non-governmental organisation has called on regulatory bodies of oil and gas sector to step up performance, as this would lead to Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the federal government

BudgIT said it has critically assessed the report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), a body that shoulders the task of improving transparency and accountability in the management of revenues from natural resources.

The organisation made this known in a release signed by its communications associate, Shakir Akorede, yesterday. Released in December 2017, the audit report of the oil and gas industry for 2016, had come up with salient analysis, demanding actions from regulatory bodies in the sector.

It stated that “from the report, there were three cases of under-remittance in the first quarter of 2016, in which unit prices and crude values on the sales invoice were higher than the recorded figure in the sales profile, amounting to an aggregate revenue loss of $7.82 million.

“From our analysis, this revenue loss, alone, can be used to build and equip almost 500 hospitals in oil-rich but devastated communities in the Niger Delta region.

“In the same vein, NNPC failed to apply market rate as advised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to convert the sales proceeds received in US dollars for domestic crude sales, which resulted in a revenue loss of N260.43 million.An under-remittance of N4.02 million was also observed in 2015 due to similar practices.”

It added that BudgIT also found that losses arising from crude oil theft and sabotage in the upstream and downstream sectors amounted to $869.02 million and $3.55 billion respectively.

It also noted that in 2016, 23 companies incurred a liability of $3.63 million on gas flare penalty, saying that this can actually be expended on four research and development projects in the oil and gas sector.

Worried by this spate of loss, BudgIT called on all entities that had been identified with outstanding issues to resolve them immediately, saying that “we note with dismay that some of the issues have not only persisted but have also escalated over the years.”

Principal lead of BudgIT, Gabriel Okeowo, said that “we are charging all regulatory bodies of government to wake up to their responsibilities in ensuring compliance with the rules of engagement.”

He stated that if properly structured back into the economy, the huge amount that goes down the drain, courtesy of these issues, would go a long way in contributing to the economic recovery and growth plan of the federal government.

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