NNPC Audit Report: BudgIT Sends FOI Request To Auditor-General
BUDGIT Nigeria, in collaboration with Private Public Development Centre (PPDC), has sent a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to the Auditor General (AG) of the Federation asking for a copy of forensic audit report on the account of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The request was made subsequent to the submission of the forensic audit by the international auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to the presidency recently.
The Federal Government had earlier undertaken a forensic investigation following the alleged unremitted $20bn oil revenue by the NNPC to the Federation Account.
The report was said to have absolved NNPC of fraud.
Unsatisfied with the disclosure, the two civil society organisations have invoked FoIA 2011 to request for the report.
In a letter dated 25th February, signed on behalf of BudgIT and PPDC by Operations Lead at BudgIT, Stanley Achonu, and sent to the Auditor General of the Federation, the organisations noted that the request is precipitated by the recent announcement of the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who had encouraged AG to release the full report.
Alison-Madueke was quoted to have said neither President Goodluck Jonathan nor herself would oppose the public release of the full report, but that, she could not release the report herself because the decision on whether to do so lies with the Auditor-General of the Federation.
“BudgIT’s FOI request is therefore a push for Nigerians to be privy to the entire contents of the report and is hopeful that the Federal Government in keeping with its promise of ensuring accountability in governance and in accordance of the statutes of the FOI Act will publish the report,” said Mr. Achonu.
The two organisations, in another request, asked the AG to make the 2009-2012 audit reports of the Federal Government accounts available to them.
Achonu said: “Audit reports complete the transparency and accountability cycle that includes public disclosure of revenue, publication of government budget including citizens’ budget and publicly available audit report of government process, revenue and expenditure.
“At the heart of the two requests we sent to the Auditor-General of the Federation is the twin issue of government revenue and expenditure. While PWC’s focused on government revenue and remittance by NNPC, the other request will compel the Auditor General to disclose the full audited FG accounts from 2009 to 2012.”
According to the FOI Act, requests must receive a mandatory reply within seven days of acknowledgement of receipt.
BudgIT is hopeful that the office of the Auditor-General will act promptly like true patriots and in obedience of the law, said Achonu.
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