EL-RUFAI VISITS NEITI; DESCRIBES AGENCY’S WORK AS OUTSTANDING

The Governor of Kaduna State Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has described NEITI as “an island of professionalism, integrity and excellence among other government institutions"

Mallam El-Rufai who stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the NEITI Secretariat in Abuja, described NEITI as a well reformed and competent institution.

He attributed the successes recorded so far in the on-going reforms in the oil and gas sector to the incisive information and data presented to government by NEITI. He noted that "NEITI Reports were very valuable to the committee of 5 Governors that examined internally generated revenue remittances by government agencies to the Federation Account. We used NEITI Reports extensively”.

According to the Governor “NEITI should design a frame work that will help the government to plug leakages, process lapses and recover all funds established by the Audit Reports as cases of under payments and under assessment of taxes by companies operating in the extractive industry in Nigeria”.

Mallam El-Rufai commended NEITI for its doggedness and resilience in opening up a hitherto opaque sector like Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in spite of the inherent challenges, institutional resistance and risks. He urged NEITI to insist on reforms without expecting accolades from anybody.

Congratulating the newly appointed Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, Mallam El-Rufai described him as a competent Professional with a good heart, intelligent and broad minded, noting that his passion and commitment to excellence and the Nigerian project are unparalleled.

He also extolled the leadership qualities of the immediate past Executive Secretary Mrs Zainab Ahmed, now the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, adding that her appointment to the EITI International Board is a mark of respect for the NEITI and Nigeria as a country, in the implementation of the Initiative.

He urged NEITI to uphold the standards, open up the extractive industries in Nigeria and continue to hold both the companies and government to account.

While welcoming the Governor, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr Waziri Adio affirmed that El-Rufai’s visit is an endorsement of NEITI’s performance and delivery. He implored the Governor to assist NEITI  bring the State Governments into the EITI process as this will ensure a more holistic and enduring reform of the management of Nigeria’s natural resources.

It will be recalled that NEITI’s 2012  oil and gas industry audit report observed that the sum of USD8.4Billion stand as potential recoverable revenues to the Federation Account from under assessments, underpayments and wrong computation of taxes by the covered entities.

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