By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Mr Waziri Adio, has disclosed that one of his agency’s main focus is ensuring installation of adequate metering infrastructure in the oil and gas sector operations.
Mr Adio noted that due to inadequate metering system, accurate measurement of crude production and liftings as well as appropriate computation of taxes and royalties have been difficult, leading to huge revenue loss to the Nigeria.
He gave this submission when he received a delegation from Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) in his office.
During the visit, the NRITI boss noted that metering remains an issue very dear to the agency.
He said “NEITI has long established this issue in its first audit of the sector. Since then we have been pushing, and we will continue to push until the issue is addressed.”
Mr Adio also highlighted the strong linkages and correlations between the agency’s mandate and protection of human rights.
“If the resources are not being managed transparently, and there is no good governance, it will definitely impinge on human rights,” he said.
He noted that all Nigerians need to be part of decision-making process and participate in the governance of the nation’s natural resources by taking interest in the information and data contained in the NEITI reports and using the information to hold government and companies accountable.
“NEITI’s work is about how to make natural resources work for every Nigerian. It is not an issue for a few. It is an issue for everybody,” he added.
Mr Adio further explained that NEITI has the responsibility to ensure transparency, accountability and good governance of Nigeria’s oil, gas and solid minerals sector.
NEITI does this by conducting regular industry audits, disseminating the audit reports, and working with relevant government agencies on remedial issues in the reports, he explained.
He regretted the neglect of the solid minerals sector in the past which has led to its underdevelopment and poor regulation despite huge potential for jobs and wealth creation as well as economic diversification.
He noted however that in line with the recommendations of past NEITI reports, the current Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi who is also the Chair of the NEITI Board, recently launched a roadmap for the development of solid minerals sector.
Mr Adio underlined the urgent need to organize the solid minerals sector to attract global big players the same way that the oil and gas sector has attracted big players like Shell, Chevron, Mobil etc.
The Executive Secretary encouraged HURIWA as well as all Nigerians to take interest and get involved in NEITI’s activities, noting that as a civil society group, the organization has major roles to play in the NEITI process.
Earlier in his remarks, National Coordinator of HURIWA, Mr Emmanuel Onwubiko, called for coordinated approach to the development of the solid minerals sector as well as installation of adequate metering infrastructure for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
He commended NEITI for the enormous and courageous work it is doing in the extractive industries, describing NEITI as one of the vibrant government agencies in the country that Nigerians are proud of.
Mr Onwubiko expressed his organization’s willingness to partner with NEITI to ensure that the agency fulfils its obligations to Nigerians.
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