Nigeria’s implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standards has further received a boost following readiness by the country’s parliament to establish a parliamentary Forum on EITI which would address remediation issues.
This position is part of resolutions reached after a retreat organised for members of the National Assembly in Lagos, according to a statement on Sunday by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
NEITI has conducted eight circles of audits of the oil and gas sector, going back to 1999, but the implementation of the findings and recommendations contained in the audits have been a challenge. Same issues continue to be flagged year after year as remediation remained a huge challenge.
But with a parliamentary group on EITI about to be established, all that is about to change. “The group expected to be drawn from relevant Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives will coordinate legislative actions on implementation of remedial issues identified by independent audit reports of NEITI in the extractive industry,” a statement signed by NEITI’s Director, Communication and Advocacy, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji said.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, while addressing the retreat, explained that the proposed parliamentary forum will help to coordinate the work of the various committees in addressing remedial issues in NEITI Reports. “The Forum will also promote and strengthen intra-legislative committee relations, engagements and outreach on important issues that require urgent legislative intervention and advocacy, Mr Adio said.
At the Retreat supported by Trust Africa Project, a non-governmental organisation, legislators and their aides were exposed to the principles, processes, methods and benefits of EITI implementation in Nigeria and the role of the Legislature in the EITI value chain.
e360 learnt that Chairmen of the relevant committees on extractive industry issues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, after being exposed to the content of the NEITI reports, agreed that they were quite comprehensive in information and data, which are essential tools in national planning.
For instance, some major outstanding remediation issues in the 2014 oil and gas sector audit alone include; $7bn total unremitted payments to government, $1.8bn accumulated unremitted gas flare penalty, $2.3bn outstanding NPDC PPT liability, $.147bn Cash Call balance from NAPIMS and $.439bn loss to non-consistent NNPC sales record.
Issues of poor governance, inadequate metering infrastructure, under payments, under assessment, under remittance, gas flare, among others continue to be wide spread in the industry despite resolution recommendations captured in the NEITI audit reports.