19th June 2021
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Nilepet defiant to audit requisition, says Auditor-General

Authors: Jale Richard | Lasuba Memo | Published: Sunday, May 30, 2021

A fuel station owned by Nilepet in Juba, South Sudan | Credit | Courtesy

The Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet), South Sudan’s national oil and gas entity has not been audited since its establishment, the Auditor-General has revealed.

Nilepet is South Sudan’s largest public-sector investment company, having stakes in oil-producing and operating companies as well as in exploration companies.

The 2012 Petroleum Act expects the Ministry of Petroleum and oil companies to publish annual production data, volumes sold, as well as revenues and other information related to the sector.

But the Auditor-General, Stephen Wondu said the National Audit Chamber has not received any financial statements from Nilepet since it was created.

“They haven’t submitted their reports and my job is to requisition them to give me the reports and if they don’t give me the reports, I go to the higher authority which is the parliament,” Stephen Wondu said in a webinar meeting drawing counterparts and partner organizations on Friday.

They include the International Development Initiative, African Organization of Supreme Audit Institution for English Speaking Countries, as well as offices of Audit chamber in Norway and Kenya.

Since the national parliament has been reconstituted, the auditor says he now has a higher authority to run to if any institution does not cooperate with his requisition for documents.

“That’s why I’m saying it is good the president has now reconstituted the parliament. I can now go to the parliament and say please help me get the accounts from those institutions.”

Some members of the national parliament had previously complained that no records about oil revenues have been made public.

In June 2019, President Salva Kiir formed a seven-member committee headed by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, to investigate the mechanism used in the pre-sale of South Sudan’s oil.

The body was also to ascertain the number of pre-sale agreements and companies allocated crude oil on that basis.

The order directed the committee to work with the Auditor-General to determine how crude oil was sold.

The Auditor, Wondu said he has now completed the report and it will soon be made public.

“We had not been issuing reports but that doesn’t mean we have not been writing reports,” he said before adding “we do have several reports in our drawers, which we hope to be able to issue in the months to come.”

“But the interesting thing is that we have some reports which are hot, fresh. One of them was delivered to me. That is the report on oil sales. It will be signed and made public,” Wondu added.

In April, the Auditor-General released a report on the 2% and 3% allocations of the oil revenue to oil the producing states and communities.

The report said about 5 million dollars meant for the oil-producing states and communities were instead received by individuals and entities not defined by the law as recipients.

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