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FGIP: OAUGF Collaborates with NEITI

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The Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Mkpe Ayine (Right) listening as the Executive Secretary NEITI, Waziri Adio, explains the operations of his office during the courtesy visit on Friday 16th August, 2019.

The Office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAuGF) is collaborating with the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to promote openness and accountability in the management of government revenue from the sector.

The collaboration is in connection with the Fiscal Governance and Institutions Project (FGIP), which the Federal Government and World Bank are undertaking to strengthen revenue management and encourage transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

The Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Mkpe Ayine, who had sought similar cooperation from the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Custom Service explained that the purpose of the engagement is to ensure that the collection of revenue is lawfully made and duly remitted to government.

Ayine who paid a courtesy visit to the NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, said there was also need to harmonize figures contained in the annual reports of both organisations so as to erase doubts and build public trust.

“NEITI handles very important statistics that is important to the Federal Government and analysts. It is imperative that we work together to reconcile and harmonise the figures that make up our annual reports for our collective integrity as a country,” he said.

The Auditor-General further explained that the role of his Office in executing the FGIP is to conduct Revenue Assurance Audit and IT Audit on income generating Ministries Departments and Agencies of government to ascertain their level of compliance with set rules for revenue collection and remittance.

He also said that as part of on-going reforms in the OAuGF, a new unit that will carry out extensive audits on the extractive industry is underway, and that he will not fail to request for support from NEITI in understanding the operations of the sector for operational efficiency.

On his part, the Executive Secretary expressed readiness for the collaboration which he said was a welcome development and pledged to support the OAuGF in the quest to begin audit of the extractive industry.

“NEITI is ready and willing to work with the Office of the Auditor General and other similar agencies to promote integrity, openness, standards and uniformity in data collation, validation management and utilization,” Adio said.

He further stated that: “It is not just enough to be transparent; it is about being comprehensively transparent to ensure that the information is understood. Anything that will bring about transparency in the management of revenues we will give you all the support”.

“We are working for the same purpose; we have to leverage on the strengths of the different agencies. We have done this for 15 years and we have the information that will guide you in the extractive industry,” Adio added.

The Executive Secretary also used the opportunity of the visit to remind the Auditor-General on the need to review NEITI’s annual reports sent to his Office and give his feedback for a more robust alliance between both establishments.

A recent report estimates that Nigeria’s extractive industry loses significant revenues annually.

Oghenekevwe Ebireri

For: DD (Information)

16-08-2019

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