NEITI Inaugurate IMTT To Drive Remediation Of Industry Reports

L-R: Chair of the IMTT, Mr. Simon Tyungu, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, and others during the inauguration of the NEITI IMTT in Abuja on Monday

By Juliet Ukanwosu

Following its commitment to address all identified issues in Nigeria’s last validation exercise by the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the federal government has inaugurated the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Inter Ministerial Task Team (IMTT).

This is coming a few days after the inauguration of the NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) also known as the NEITI Board, which is chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume.

The IMTT is tasked with overseeing the implementation of NEITI’s industry reports findings and recommendations and strengthening the on-going reforms in the extractive sector.

Membership of the Team include representatives from key government agencies such as the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Revenue Mobilization, Allocation & Fiscal Commission (RMFAC).

Others are Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF), 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.

The diverse composition of the IMTT is with the objective to facilitate the implementation of NEITI’s recommendations across various agencies.

While inaugurating the IMTT, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, on behalf of the Board of NEITI, charged the Team to effectively implement NEITI report findings and recommendations at their respective agencies.

According to Dr. Orji, who is Secretary to the Board, the reconstitution of the Task Team is aimed at deepening government oversight and driving reforms in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. “The IMTT is to study very carefully each NEITI industry report, map out the key findings and recommendations in these reports and identify the agencies that are responsible to carry out the remedial actions as recommended,” he said.

He added that the importance of the IMTT in the on-going reforms in the extractive sector is to ensure that the findings of these reports help to deepen government oversight and reform in a manner that provides the greatest good for Nigerians who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the country’s natural resources.

Dr. Orji further explained that the IMTT is also expected to focus on a remediation program anchored on NEITI’s mission which is to institutionalize accountability mechanisms and processes to instill a culture of transparency and participation in Nigeria’s extractive sector.

This he said, will involve enhancing synergies among stakeholders that promotes a common data platform, understanding industry best practices, and instituting a structured communication framework.

The NEITI Executive Secretary used the opportunity to call on all covered entities to fully cooperate and provide the necessary information and data in a timely manner, emphasizing that adherence to this requirement is fundamental and mandatory.

Responding on behalf of members of the Task Team, Chair of the IMTT, Mr. Simon Tyungu, Director, Mains Office at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, urged his colleagues to be committed to the assignment and ensure that the findings and the recommendations are given the right attention.

While thanking the government for the opportunity given to the Team to serve, he stressed that the job was one which needed serious commitment in order to ensure implementation of all remedial issues for the benefit of all Nigerians.

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