Executive Secretary, NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed
The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said it will meet with governors of the 36 states of the federation to enlist their support in implementing contents of reports of 2009 to 2011 oil and gas sector, and 2007 to 2010 solid minerals industry audits.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed in Abuja that the transparency agency understood the political implication of an even implementation of findings in its audit reports and had in that regard decided to meet with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) in its quest to ensure that recommendations on remediation in the reports are acted on swiftly.
Ahmed who spoke at the inauguration of a new Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) on transparency in Nigeria’s extractive industries, Media Initiative for Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI) in Abuja said NEITI had proposed the meeting with the governors and was awaiting the next meeting of the NGF.
He said: “NEITI is talking with the Nigeria’s Governors Forum to convince them to accept the NEITI processes. Nigeria is a federation of 36 states and a capital territory and it is really difficult to actually get all the tiers of government to accept the NEITI process which is advocating strict adherence to accountability and transparency in the use of revenues from extractive industries.”
Ahmed explained that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media had got significant roles to play in demanding for accountability from the governing class on the use of revenues generated from Nigeria’s abundant extractive resources, adding that the formation of a specialised media advocacy group like MITEI would strengthen the dissemination of findings in NEITI’s processes.
“NEITI is determined to make its audit reports regular, comprehensive in content and timely in responding to national questions over governance and transparency in the extractive sector. We are committed to making NEITI audit report a reliable reference point for the legislature, civil society and media as tools for monitoring, oversight and advocacy in the use of extractive resources; the coming of MITEI at this time is most appropriate and NEITI appreciates that,” she said.
Meanwhile, the executive secretary also disclosed that the agency would within the first week of September 2012 convene a national stakeholder’s forum in Lagos to critically study the contents of the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) 2012 and ascertain areas of the bill that may be injurious to the Nigerian economy.
Ahmed explained that the forum had become necessary as recommendations from it will mostly guide the National Assembly which has the bill before it in its debate and eventual passage.