By Juliet Ukanwosu
The Inter Ministerial Task Team set up by the Federal Government to ensure prompt implementation of findings and recommendations contained in the industry audit reports of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is set to be re-invigorated with the Accountant General of the federation, Ahmed Idris as Chairman, Extractive 360 has learnt.
This was part of agreement reached on Tuesday when the Accountant General visited the NEITI Secretariat, where modalities and the framework for the new IMTT were agreed.
Idris in his remarks stated that the IMTT will be resuscitated to continue discharging the objectives for which the government had set up the Committee. “We will put hands together to make sure that whatever is due to government by way of revenue, royalty, fines and so on, do come to government. We are supportive hundred percent of what NEITI is doing and we will assist to achieve their objectives”, the Accountant General said.
He explained that both the agencies are working towards a common goal which is to curb corruption and plug leakages. “We are here essentially to strengthen our partnership and collaboration because we have a common goal,” Mr. Idris noted.
Welcoming Idris to his office, the NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, described the Accountant Generals’ visit as most encouraging considering efforts at revitalizing the IMTT. “We want to work with all agencies that either take custody of government funds, warehouse or manage them because most of this funds come from the extractive industries and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation is the nation’s treasury house and the Accountant General of the Federation has enormous responsibilities in that regards,” Orji said.
The NEITI boss regretted that in the last five years, the IMTT has not been very active but pointed out that with the Accountant General of the Federation working with NEITI, the Committee will be resuscitated and will help ensure inter – agency dialogue on NEITI remedial issues with a view to resolving them.
Extractive 360 reports that the specific tasks of the IMTT is to among other things, develop a revenue flow interface among government agencies; improve Nigeria’s oil and gas metering infrastructure and develop a uniform approach to cost determination. Others include, building human and physical capacities of critical government agencies and improve overall governance of the oil and gas sector. It is an initiative of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to implement recommendations on remedial issues in the NEITI industry Reports.
In a related development, NEITI is to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to define modalities for deepening engagement with the NFIU in the areas of information and data sharing relating to financial corruption in the extractive industries.
According to a statement by NEITI’s Head, Communications and Advocacy, Obiageli Onuorah, the measures are designed to ensure that covered entities do not take compliance to NEITI processes for granted as consequences will apply.