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NEITI urges National Assembly to use its audit reports to strengthen lawmaking, other functions

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Abuja, July 20, 2016 (NAN) The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has urged the National Assembly to use NEITI’s audit reports to strengthen its lawmaking, oversight, and checks and balances functions.

The Executive Secretary of the agency, Mr Waziri Adio, gave the advice while speaking on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.

Extractive industry is a process that involves different activities that lead to the extraction, processing and utilisation of raw materials such as oil, metals, solid minerals and aggregates from the earth, by consumers.

Adio said that the proper use of its audit reports by the National Assembly would help the lawmakers adequately play their role as representatives of the people.

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“The work that we do should be used by the National Assemble, as input to strengthen their work of lawmaking and oversight checks and balances, representation of the people.

“That is why we are engaging with the media; we want the citizens to be in the position where they will understand what we do, how our work affects them and use that information in a way that they can use to hold government and companies to account.

“Yes we have achieved so much, not just in terms of the reports that we have published, not just in terms of putting information out there, that ordinarily wouldn’t have existed, but also in shaping the reform agenda.’’

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The executive secretary said NEITI was established in 2007 to promote due process and transparency in extractive revenues paid to, and received by government as well ensure transparency and accountability in the application of extractive revenues.

“Our report gives the country the opportunity to know things that should be changed and it also provides insight into what the reform should be.

“We do not set out to point fingers at people but to make sure that things run properly for the benefit of our country, for the interest of the operators and the government agency regulating them.

He further said that NEITI’s reports had provided important technical information, which many organisations did not have.

He said, “the second thing is that if you see some of those recommendations, over time they have shaped the reform agenda of various governments over time.’’

Adio said some of the recommendations centered on subsidy of petroleum products, the need for a Treasury Single Account (TSA), lack of clarity on regulatory and fiscal mechanism for the sector.

He commended the President Mohammadu Buhari administration on efforts it is making to ensure a diversified and reformed Nigeria devoid of corruption and insecurity.

The executive secretary said because NEITI’s mandate was in line with the present administration’s agenda, its management would improve on its responsibilities.

He said: “there is work in progress; we have done so well so far, but we believe that working with different stakeholders, we can do much more.

“The end goal is to ensure that the country benefits from this resources and that this resources translates to shared prosperity, improved standard of living and human development of the country.

“And until we get to that end, we need to do more.

“Others also need to do more including government agencies and different stakeholders like the media, civil society and the legislature.’’

On previous disagreements with NNPC and its subsidiaries on the claims by NEITI’s reports, Adio said the arguments were baseless.

He stated that when claims are made by an oganisation, NEITI provides a column for response after, which both reports are published simultaneously.

“It is because the environment allowed them, not because we were wrong, not because our methodology was not robust enough or we did not do our job properly.

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