Nigeria, on Tuesday braced the trail as a member of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) with the launch of a mobile technology driven App, meant to track the management of the country’s extractive industries.
Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Waziri while speaking at the launch in Lagos, described the deployment of the mobile App known as ‘RemTrack’ as a major milestone in Nigeria’s quest to attain accountability in the oil and gas sector.
According to Adio, the App places in the hands of Nigerians information to hold those managing the sector accountable for their actions.
“This day is a major milestone not just in how we engage the process in Nigeria, but even within the EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) space as a whole”, he said.
He explained that implementing remedial recommendations contained in NEITI audit reports are critical for the attainment of the agency’s mandate, while emphasising the importance of adherence to the processes put in place in the management of the sector by relevant organisations.
He said the App will help Nigerians, journalists, civil society organisations, and anyone interested in the oil and gas including entities covered in the NEITI audit reports, to track remedial issues contained in the reports.
“Remediation is a critical part of our work”, Adio said, adding that when the first audit that covered from 1999 to 2004 was published in 2005, the concern was the need to have a mechanism that ensures that the findings and recommendations were addressed.
He said it was important that recommendations were not just academic exercises but lead to genuine reform especially in addressing systemic issues.
Mr. Adio stated that the work of NEITI “goes beyond uncovering missing monies or monies that have been stolen” but also ensuring those systemic or procedural issues that allowed anomalies to happen, are fixed.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of NEITI’s Civil Society Steering Committee, Mr. Kolawole Banwo underlined the role of the civil society as the conscience of the citizen in the EITI implementation.
He described the RemTrack as a democratic process to put the information at the hand of the citizens through their mobile phones.
The Executive Director of OrderPaper, Mr Oke Epia, the developer of the App which can be downloaded from appstore, in his remarks, noted that the App which has been in the making for over a year was not to witch hunt anybody or institutions.
“RemTrack is for the good of country. We have not designed it as a tool to deride or witch-hunt anybody or stakeholder. Rather, we are putting in the hands of citizens, a simplified dataset of knowledge and germane information on the state of Nigeria’s extractive industry as contained in the annual audits of NEITI.
“All that we have is all that we have been given by the transparency watchdog and nothing more. This is therefore to assure you that the integrity and sanctity of data contained in the app have met highest possible standards of co-creation and authorization”, Epia said.