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NEITI to inaugurate inter-ministerial task team to strenghten transparency in extractive industry

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The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has disclosed plans to inaugurate an Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) to increase integrity and transparency within regulatory agencies and operators in the extractive industries.

Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the Executive Secretary of NEITI disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing the press on the status of EITI implementation in Nigeria.

Read also: FAAC disbursement up by 23.5% to N10.14trn in 2023 — NEITI

According to him, a draft remediation plan is being developed for the implementation of EITI in line with the agency’s mission of institutionalizing accountability mechanisms and processes to instil a culture of transparency and participation in Nigeria’s extractive sector.

“The IMTT will be saddled with the responsibility of implementing recommendations and findings of the NEITI’s industry reports and deepen government oversight and reforms in the extractive sector,” he said.

The team comprises key government agencies such as the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Revenue Mobilization, Allocation & Fiscal Commission (RMFAC).

Others include the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF), Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mining Cadastre Office, among others.

Read also: NNPCL, FIRS, and others remitted N14.38 trn to the federation account in 2yrs – NEITI

He disclosed that NEITI has commenced and made progress with the conduct of the 2022-2023 industry reports of the oil, gas and mining sectors, which is expected to be completed in September 2024.

“We have deployed our automated information-gathering infrastructure-NAMS for the conduct of the exercise.

“NEITI is strengthening engagements with other government agencies through bilateral meetings on remediation. We are also drafting an MoU to be signed with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on data sharing on data sharing to enhance national coordination and data access and integrity.

“NEITI will also sign MoU with National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the protection of civic space for civil society organisations working in the extractive sector.”

Read also:NEITI report unearths gaps in Nigeria’s oil revenue management

He said that in ensuring adequate complaints to NEITI in Nigeria, the Agency recently met with the management of the Dangote Refineries and invited them to join NEITI as a supporting company.

The NEITI Companies Forum, according to him has been strengthened with Miners Association of Nigeria fully integrated as the deputy chair of the Forum.

He said, “In the last Audit Report exercise, 69 Companies in the oil and gas sector and 1214 companies in the solid minerals sector participated. NEITI has also been working with them on the draft corrective actions on the validation report on Nigeria ”

Orji, speaking further said that President Bola Tinubu had recently inaugurated a 15-man board for NEITI, which is chaired by George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation.