By Etuka Sunday
A parliamentary group on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is to be established by the National Assembly.
The group expected to be drawn from relevant Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives will coordinate legislative actions on implementation of remedial issues identified by independent audit reports of NEITI in the extractive industry.
The decision to set up the parliamentary group was part of the resolutions reached at a retreat held in Lagos for members of the National Assembly on EITI implementation in Nigeria.
The Chairmen of the relevant committees on extractive industry issues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives explained that the contents of NEITI Reports are quite comprehensive in information and data which are essential tools in national planning.
Addressing the Retreat, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio explained that the proposed parliamentary forum will help to coordinate the work of the various committees in addressing remedial issues in NEITI Reports.
The Forum will also promote and strengthen intra-legislative committee relations, engagements and outreach on important issues that require urgent legislative intervention and advocacy.
Mr. Adio used the Forum to welcome the cordial working relationship between NEITI and the National Assembly especially in areas of monitoring and oversight.
At the Retreat supported by Trust Africa Project, a non-governmental organisation, Legislators and their Aides were exposed to the principles, processes, methods and benefits of EITI implementation in Nigeria by NEITI and the role of the Legislature in the EITI value chain.
Meanwhile, NEITI has expanded its operations in the oil and gas industry to cover Commodity Trading.
At a workshop for relevant government agencies and oil trading companies, the NEITI Executive Secretary represented by the Director, Communications and Advocacy, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji explained that the decision to move into commodity trading is in line with the NEITI mandate and in compliance with EITI 2016 global standards.
Dr. Orji told participants at the Workshop that “the overall objective of NEITI’s interest in commodity trading is to improve transparency in the sale of the state share of production by government and state owned enterprises among others”.
Dr. Orji called on the companies and government agencies involved in commodity trading to carefully study the developed templates by NEITI with a view to internalizing these new reporting requirements as part of their respective overall business model.
Responding, the representatives of government agencies, oil and gas companies viewed NEITI’s decision to expand its operations to commodity trading as a most welcome development.
They welcomed the development in view of the importance of transparency, fair competition and good business ethics.
The participants advised NEITI on areas to focus on in commodity trading.
There include ensuring accurate data on production, accurate measurement of volumes of government equity crude oil including crude condensate, crude allocation for export and domestic use, accurate computation of in-kind revenues, taxes and royalty.
The Agencies, Marketers and Crude Oil Traders also identified marketing contracts and related agreements, process of transfer of income from sales of equity crude, liftings and other similar transactions as other key areas in commodity trading where NEITI is invited to pay attention.
The Director, Communications and Advocacy, NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji in a statement said, the Workshop reviewed the templates developed to reconcile transactions in this sector and resolved to give the Marketers/Traders time to study and make inputs.
All leading Companies and Government agencies covered in the NEITI process attended the Workshop.