A constitutional lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, has advised the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, on ways to recover unremitted revenues due to the federation as highlighted in its oil and gas audit reports.
Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the transparency and accountability agency could report indicted companies and groups to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for criminal diversion of public funds.
On the alternative, he said, NEITI could invoke its powers of prosecution and institute civil proceedings in appropriate courts against the affected companies and groups for the recovery of the funds.
The constitutional lawyer identified Section 3(f) of the NEITI Act 2007, as a tool to carry out its duties. The section imposes a duty to monitor and ensure that all payments due to the federal government from all extractive industries, including taxes, royalties, dividends, etc are duly made.”
A policy brief earlier released by NEITI had focused on “Unremitted Funds”. Other series of NEITI oil and gas sector audits showed that NNPC and its upstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) failed to remit over $21.78 billion and N316.1 billion to the Federation Account.
In that policy brief, the unremitted funds included $1.7 billion as outstanding revenue from a total of $1.8 billion as a result of the transfer of eight oil mining leases from Shell Petroleum Development Corporation.
Another $2.2 million was not remitted from four other oil leases from the Joint Venture managed by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company to the NPDC.
Other unremitted revenues included about $148.3 million paid as cash calls on the transferred oil leases, in addition to about $1.5 billion legacy liabilities as well as about $15.8 billion that accrued as Nigeria LNG dividends between 2000 and 2014.
NEITI had urged the government to take steps to recover the unremitted oil revenue from the NNPC and other companies.