The auditing firm failed to deliver on its contract.
The Board of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, may resolve at the end of its emergency meeting Friday to wield the big stick against the accounting firm of Sada Idris & Co. for allegedly failing to deliver on its mandate several months after the deadline.
The accounting firm was hired last year to conduct a three part audit of the country’s oil and gas industry for the period 2009 and 2011.
Apart from reviewing and reconciling all revenues collected by government agencies on behalf of the Federal Government, the consultant was also mandated to review all payments by all the oil and gas companies operating in the country to ensure that they complied with international standards and rules of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
For a contract sum of N226.6 million, the consultant was expected to produce the core audit report, comprising financial flows, physical and process audits, to bring up-to-date NEITI secretariat in line with the NEITI national mandate and rules of global EITI, which Nigeria is one of the leading signatories.
Though the company managed to publish the financial flows report before the expiration of the nine months deadline last December, PREMIUM TIMES gathered on Thursday in Abuja that it appears to be finding it difficult to deliver on the other two reports, despite several missed deadlines.
It was gathered that Nigeria, which was granted EITI compliant status in 2010, barely escaped being de-listed last December 31 as one of the 20 countries granted that status among 37 extractive resource based countries that signed on to the EITI principles.
At the expiration of the mandatory deadline of December 31 every year set by the EITI headquarters for the submission of the final audit report, Nigeria was not among the 27 EITI member-countries that had filed their final report for 2010 and 2011.
After failure to meet several deadlines to deliver the report since last December, it was gathered that the NEITI secretariat was compelled to issue a 21 days ultimatum to the consultant, which has since lapsed, despite already receiving more than half of the total contract sum.
Surprisingly, at the session to open the technical bids by prospective bidders for the next auditing process, board members were reportedly shocked to find a bid proposal from the same consultant smuggled among others submitted for evaluation.
Though the controversial bid was promptly dropped, most members said the official who brought it in must be found out and sanctioned accordingly.
NEITI Board Chairman, Ledum Mitee, who is said to have been so embarrassed with the latest development, reportedly summoned an emergency meeting billed for Friday to enable members deliberate on the way forward.
At the end of the meeting, a decision is expected to be taken on what appropriate recommendations are to be made to the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, on how to resolve the situation and save the country the humiliation of being de-listed as one of EITI-compliant countries.
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