Adedapo Adesanya Nigeria achieved a 55 percent increase in earnings from the oil and gas sector in 2018, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has announced. In a statement signed by the agency's Director, Communications and Advocacy, Mr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, it was disclosed that inflows gotten from the sector amounted to\u00a0 $32.6 billion compared to $20.9 billion recorded on 2017. NEITI added in its latest oil and gas industry audit that $16.6 billion of the payments were made from companies, while the balance of about $16 billion was from sales of crude oil and gas. The report showed that in the last five years, there was an inflow of $24.8 billion in 2015, which represents a 54.6 percent decrease when compared to the $54.6 billion that was achieved in 2014 which further dropped by 31.2 percent to $17.1 billion in 2016 when the country entered into a recession due to oil price crash. In 2017, there was a recovery as\u00a0it increased by 23 percent to $20.9 billion in 2017 and to $32.6 billion in 2018. It was disclosed that a total sum of $19.9 billion was transferred directly to the federation account from the total sum earned in 2018, while $5.21 billion and $4.04 billion were transferred into Joint Venture (JV) Cash Call Account and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) designated accounts respectively. It was further added that $2.1 billion and $1.4 billion were transferred to third parties project financing accounts and subnational transfers respectively. According to the report, the total crude oil produced for 2018 was 701 million barrels, which signifies a 1.5 percent increase when compared with the 690 million barrels achieved in 2017. NEITI noted that a sum of N2.2 trillion was realized as proceeds from sales of domestic crude oil allocation in 2018, out of which N28.3 billion\u00a0 were dreducted for crude and product losses; N138.95 billion for pipeline repairs and maintenance cost; and N722.3 billion as fuel subsidy. Total crude oil losses due to theft and sabotage in 2018 totaled 3.3 million barrels as against the 16.8 million barrels recorded in 2017. Oil and gas industry contributed 7.8 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018. It contributed $19.1 billion in absolute terms to exports in 2018. This represents 30% of the total exports of $62.5 billion. NEITI has also announced plans to release the 2019 audit report this year so it can clear the backlogs of audits of the extractive sector and subsequently making the reports more timely and relevant.