The Nigeria Extractive Transparency Initiative (NEITI) yesterday called on the National Assembly to intensify efforts towards the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to permanently address the remediation issues in the oil and gas industry.
The Chairman, NEITI, Ledum Mitee who made the call at the Roundtable Meeting on the Remediation Issues in the Oil and Gas Industry Audit Reports said, the delay in the passage of the PIB was the major obstacle to the desired reforms in the oil and gas sector. “I therefore called on the National Assembly to expedite actions on the passage of the PIB as well as recommend the participants at the Roundtable to work out a common approach towards refocusing attention on the need to pass the Bill.”
Mitee said, “We may, for instance, consider the option of calling for the unbundling of the PIB into separate Bills to ensure measurable progress in the passage of the needed reform legislations in the industry.”
He said, “for us at NEITI, we are convinced that implementation of this remediation plans is very critical to fixing the problems in our oil and gas sector. This is the reasons we are committed to the implementation of this remediation plan. We shall continue to work with all the relevant government agencies and other important stakeholders to ensure that the remediation plan is fully implemented.”
The NEITI boss said, since Nigeria signed up to the global EITI initiative, NEITI has conducted and published four cycles of audit reports with profound revelations, identified government lapses and provided appropriate recommendations on how to fix the problems in the sector.
“Outstanding as these reports have been, the major challenge has not been with publishing audit reports but more on addressing remediation issues and implementation of findings and recommendations of these audit reports…our reports must attract the needed implementation backing,” he said.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, NEITI, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said, “this roundtable meeting was organised specifically to conduct a comprehensive review of key findings and recommendations of NEITI’s audit reports and other reports emanating from several committees and probes panels set up by the Federal Government in the oil and gas sector. This is with a view to examine salient issues in these reports, harmonise their similarities, and define a sound roadmap for necessary actions on their recommendations.”
The event was organised by NEITI in collaboration with the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and FOSTER/DFID.