The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI on Thursday lamented the National Assembly’s poor use of past findings in its audit reports on the oil and gas industry operations.
The NEITI Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, told members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum Upstream on monitoring and oversight visit to the NEITI Secretariat that findings of NEITI’s audit were rich materials that could help the lawmakers push for wider reforms in the oil and gas industry.
“We see the parliament as important partners not just because we are answerable to you and we need you to approve our budget but because our reports can and should be inputs to your important work,” the NEITI Executive Secretary said.
Mr. Adio said NEITI reports contained detailed information and data not only on company payments, but also on government receipts as well as the process lapses and remedial actions required in the industry.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the director of Communication, Ogbonnaya Orji, he said NEITI was concerned that several reports with far-reaching recommendations have been placed in the public domain, “with clear challenges of implementation.”
He urged the National Assembly to study the reports as important documents that would aid their oversight representative and law-making responsibilities.
Mr. Adio renewed his appeal for continued partnership with lawmakers to promote transparency and accountability in the industry.
He commended the National Assembly for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, saying this was in support of the NEITI mandate.
The PIGB, he pointed out, was not only fundamental to strengthening reforms in the industry, but also key to promoting investments and better revenue generation.
On the new NEITI strategic plan covering the period 2017 to 2021, Mr. Adio told the lawmakers that this was to deepen openness and positively shape the overall governance of the sector through policy engagement, thought leadership and inter-agency collaboration.
He identified funding, manual data collection and human capacity development as major challenges.
Meanwhile, the statement quoted the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Victor Nwokolo, as saying his committee was satisfied with the impact of NEITI’s intervention in pushing for reforms in the extractive industries.
Mr. Nwokolo urged NEITI to maintain its professionalism in the discharge of its mandate.
He advised the Executive Secretary to ensure that NEITI worked more closely with the National Assembly to advance transparency and accountability in the industry.
He said the visit was to review NEITI’s level of implementation of the 2017 Budget and appraise the implementation of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI in Nigeria in the last one year.
The chairman reaffirmed the committee’s commitment to supporting NEITI in the discharge of its mandate.