…As Kyari Insists No Public Fund Withheld
Global transparency body, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), has scored the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) very high in its latest global assessment.
This was disclosed by EITI’s Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Bady Baldé, during a visit by an EITI delegation to the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Ltd, Mr Mele Kyari, in Abuja on Thursday.
Baldé who said the delegation’s visit was to communicate the group’s findings in its recent global assessment to the company said NNPC Ltd fared very well among companies in the same category, adding that only Equinox of Norway fared better than NNPC Ltd in the assessment.
He, however, said there was still room for NNPC Ltd to improve, stressing that compliance with global EITI standards will help boost the company’s credibility.
The EITI boss also urged NNPC Ltd to remain engaged to play an active role in its Nigerian unit, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Kyari highlighted some of the key changes in the operations of the NNPC Ltd since its transformation into a commercially focused limited liability company in 2021.
He acknowledged that the NNPC Ltd.’s partnership with EITI/NEITI has made it a much more reliable company.
He, however, expressed disappointment with NEITI for going public with its report that NNPC Ltd failed to remit some monies into the Federation Account instead of seeking clarification on any perceived gap in its assessment.
He explained that NNPC Ltd was holding no public funds back and that what NEITI reported as non-remittance was what was due to the company as payment for taking the burden of fuel subsidy on behalf of the Federal Government.
He disclosed that NNPC Ltd would have released its Audited Financial Statement (AFS) for 2022 since June 2023 but could not do so because it had no substantive Board of Directors at that time, adding that the AFS will be published on the company’s website in the next few days.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, called for the reconstitution of the NNPC/NEITI Joint Committee on Reconciliation, stressing that the committee could help in straightening out any grey areas.