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FG inaugurates NEITI’s task team on oil, gas, mining sectors

The Federal Government on Monday inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

The IMTT is an important aspect of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process in Nigeria, being a decision made by the Federal Executive Council, after the release of the first NEITI oil and gas report that covered 1999 to 2004.

The essence of the task force is to study each NEITI industry report on oil, gas and solid minerals sectors and the Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement (FASD) report, and report the key findings.

The team will make recommendations in its report and identify the agencies that are responsible, to carry out the remedial actions as recommended by the Independent Administrators.

Performing the inauguration, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary, NEITI, explained that the objective of the task team was to ensure that NEITI did not just publish reports that gathered dust on the shelves of the agency.

Orji said such findings by the team would help to deepen government’s oversight and reform of the oil, gas and mining sectors for productivity and transparency.

“In addition, it will enhance accountability in a manner that provides the greatest good for the greatest number of Nigerians who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the country’s natural resources.

“The IMTT is also expected to map out strategies that will track and report on the progress made towards the implementation of the findings and recommendations in the NEITI reports.

“NEITI has envisaged that the reforms in Nigeria’s extractive sector especially, the implementation of the Solid Minerals Roadmap and the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) would have taken over the work of the IMTT.

“But recent developments have clearly shown that the IMTT has come to stay and remains relevant due to its unique composition and responsibility,” he said.

He said the last EITI validation and the recent international mission conducted by the EITI in Nigeria, equally identified the need for the IMTT, reinforced NEITI’s position that the task team should be invigorated.

The executive secretary added that the mission had also strengthened to help oversee the implementation of the recommendations of NEITI’s reports.

“NEITI is, therefore, convinced that the IMTT framework is better positioned to meet the challenges identified in the governance framework that has been put in place for the extractive sector.

“NEITI is also of the view that the achievements and impacts it has recorded in the sector will be tracked and documented under the framework of the IMTT.

“This is against the background that the IMTT structure will support in tracking and measurement of where we are, where we should be and how we could get there,” he explained.

Orji listed the partner agencies to achieve IMTT to include the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

They also include the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RAMFAC) and Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Others are: Representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Office of the SGF, Corporate Affairs Commission, Niger Delta Development Commission and the Mining Cadastre Office, among others.

Meanwhile, Mr Simon Tyungu, a director and representative of the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), congratulated the team members on their selections to serve the country in such capacity.

Tyungu assured that the team would not disappoint the government on the task given to them.

“As representatives of various agencies, we would always do our best to ensure that we achieve our goals.

“As a matter of fact, we all know that NEITI is an agency of transparency.

“And I want to urge all of us that in the conduct of our assessment, we have to be mindful of whatever we are going to do because NEITI activities are in the full glare of the press and International body, EITI,” he said.


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