PPPRA Executive Secretary, Mr Reginald Stanley

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has faulted the audit report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) which said the agency should remit N4.423 billion to the Federal Government.

The Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Mr Reginald Stanley, told newsmen in Abuja on Sunday that NEITI?s report “is steeped in inaccuracies and gross misrepresentation of facts.

“The report has glaring potential to mislead the public and further cast aspersions on the activities of the PPPRA as a key administrator of the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF),” Stanley stated

On July 29, NEITI released its 2009-2011 audit report on the oil and gas sector, recommending that the PPPRA should remit N4.423 billion, arising from “over-recovery?? collected to the Federation Account for the period in review.

The report also ordered other establishments to refund various sums of money to the Federal Government.

“The PPPRA wishes to state unequivocally that the statement credited to the NEITI chairman is misleading and a gross misrepresentation of facts.

“We note with dismay, NEITI?s admission to the fact that it had no absolute control of its sources of data as they were derived information and data provided through its own independent auditors as well as companies doing business in the sector.

“Such over-reliance on secondary data must have accounted for the glaringly flawed computations presented in the report.?

Stanley explained that the N4.423 billion ?over-recovery? that the PPPRA was asked to remit, was not correct, noting that only the NNPC still had an outstanding payment of about N3.98 billion to be paid into  CBN?s account.

“The total over-recovery advised for the nine marketers in 2008-2009 amounted to N14,073,783,779.74;  the total amount paid to the account with CBN was N6,966,185,316.65, with the sum of N3,126,587,419.98 net-off by the Federal Ministry of Finance.?
He explained further that “the PPPRA does not disburse or `warehouse? subsidy funds as suggested by the report,?? stating that the agency only processed documents submitted by marketers for subsidy payments.
“PPPRA merely verifies and processes import subsidy documents as submitted by marketers, while forwarding same to the Federal Ministry of Finance, which is statutorily charged with the responsibility of approving payments under the PSF scheme.??
The executive secretary said there was need for NEITI to meticulously cross-check its facts and figures with relevant agencies before making such report public.
He said that it was instructive to note NEITI?s admission of the fact that it had no absolute control of its sources of data, adding: “such a possibly deficient source must have accounted for the glaringly subjective computations presented in the report??.
The PPPRA boss said the agency was alarmed to discover that most observations and clarifications earlier made to the preliminary report were ignored and not reflected in the final report released to the public.
“We wish to advise that NEITI takes a second look at our initial observations and clarifications, while reconciling its figures with those of both the PSF and Federation Accounts.??
Stanley affirmed that there was no discrepancy in PPPRA?s records and the CBN, where the PSF account was domiciled.
He said that the responsibility of payment shifted from PPPRA to the Ministry of Finance, following the introduction of the Sovereign Debt Statement and the Sovereign Debt Note in 2009.
The PPPRA chief said that the administration of the PSF contained checks and balances, which made it extremely difficult, if not impossible for just one organisation within the group to connive with marketers.

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