Senate and House of Representatives committees on extractive industries have concluded arrangements to address the challenges of transparency and accountability in the oil sector through a parliamentary forum.
Initiated by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the move is aimed at achieving coordinated legislative actions on the implementation of remedial issues identified by NEITI’s independent audit reports.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio, yesterday said the decision to set up the parliamentary forum was part of resolutions reached at a retreat in Lagos for members of the National Assembly on implementation of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the country.
The proposed parliamentary forum would help to coordinate the various committees in addressing remedial issues in NEITI reports, he said, adding that the forum will also promote and strengthen intra-legislative committee relations, engagements and outreach on important issues that require urgent legislative intervention and advocacy.
He, however, disclosed that the industry watchdog has expanded its operations in the oil and gas industry to cover commodity trading.
With the development, NEITI would monitor activities of agencies, marketers and crude oil traders, particularly in marketing contracts and related agreements, process of income transfer from sales of equity crude, lifting and other transactions.
Adio, who was represented by Director of Communications and Advocacy, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, explained that the decision to move into commodity trading was in line with NEITI’s mandate and in compliance with EITI’s 2016 global standards.
“NEITI’s overall objective interest in commodity trading is to improve transparency in the sale of state share of production by government and state owned enterprises, among others,” he said in a statement.
He urged companies and government agencies involved in commodity trading to carefully study the templates developed by NEITI with a view to internalising the new reporting requirements as part of their respective overall business model.
According to NEITI, chairmen of the relevant committees on extractive industry issues in the Senate and the House of Representatives had explained that the contents of NEITI Reports were comprehensive and were essential tools in national planning.
At the retreat supported by Trust Africa Project, a non-governmental organisation, legislators were taught the principles, processes, methods and benefits of EITI implementation in Nigeria and their role in the EITI value chain.