The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has started the process for a comprehensive independent audit of the Nigerian oil and gas sector for 2015 and 2016.
In a statement in Abuja, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, disclosed that NEITI had already commenced distribution of templates to participating companies and government agencies, adding that all populated templates with the required information and data are expected to be returned to NEITI on or before the 31st of May, 2017
Mr. Adio said the independent audit exercise would be conducted in line with the principles and standards of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI.
Adio, however, warned that NEITI will not hesitate to invoke relevant sanctions under the law on companies and other covered entities that fail to cooperate with it during the exercise.
He said the workshop was packaged to acquaint the participants with the structure and content of the auditing template, particularly the kinds of questions NEITI would ask and the answers expected from the covered entities.
He also announced that NEITI would introduce a ranking reward system to incentivize participation of covered entities, noting that under the ranking system, companies would be graded based on their efficiency in populating the audit templates including the quality and depth of information and data provided, quick response to set deadlines among other considerations.
He further explained that the ranking system would be shared with over 51 member countries of the global EITI and multi-lateral organisations to serve as reference points on adherence to business ethics for major investment decisions in Nigeria.
“NEITI is committed to working closely with the companies under the EITI framework to create good business environment conducive for the inflow of more foreign direct investments into the extractive sector. For this to happen, we encourage all companies to embrace transparency, accountability and corporate governance in conformity with the EITI standards,” he said.
Mr. Adio, however, warned that the transparency agency would not hesitate to invoke relevant sanctions under the law on companies and other covered entities that fail to cooperate during the exercise.