By Henry Omunu, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) on Tuesday expressed reservations on the 2020 audit report of the oil and gas industry by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
Chairman of the Committee Rep. Sariki Adar and other committee members declared the audit report of the oil and gas industry unsatisfactory during an investigative hearing on audited accounts of the agency.
The House committee said that majority of the agency’s audit report on oil and gas companies in the country do not reflect the output of oil sector players, while the audit reports are not released to the appropriate authorities when needed.
The House committee appealed to the agency to ensure that staffing in the agency reflects the federal character principle to engender national cohesion
However, it lambasted the Executive Secretary of the agency, Mr. Waziri Adio and directors of the agency over what the House committee described as non- disclosure of the total oil output of the country.
The lawmakers queried why N109 million released to the agency in the 2019 budget was unutilized as only N47 million was expended, while the balance was not returned to the treasury.
Responding, the NEITI Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio told the House committee members that the agency is grossly understaffed as it has only 48 staff who were recruited in 2010
He informed the committee that many states of the federation do not have NEITI’s offices due to the shortage of staff, adding that most of the staff of the agency are political appointees.
On the revenue profile of the agency, he said that it generated N109 million from January to June.