The Parliamentary Group of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) should be set up by the National Assembly in efforts to address remediation issues in Nigeria's EITI audit reports.
NEITI Executive Secretary Waziri Adio said that the new group is expected to attract membership in relevant oil and gas committees both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.
Mr. Adio said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES On Sunday that the group will coordinate legislative actions to implement the corrective issues identified by the independent audit reports of NEITI in the extractive industry.
He said that the Forum will also promote and strengthen intra-law committees, relations and contacts on important issues requiring urgent legislative intervention and propaganda.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI took the opportunity to recognize the cordial working relationship between NEITI and the National Assembly, especially in the areas of monitoring and supervision of the oil and gas industry.
NEITI audit reports
Since its inception in 2004, NEITI has conducted eight independent audits in the oil and gas sector (1999-2004, 2005, 2006-2008, 2009-2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and one in the solid minerals sector (2015).
All reports have always been accompanied by recommendations based on findings concerning violations of established laws and regulations on income or tax transfers by companies or receipts from the government and its agencies.
Unfortunately, most of these recommendations have always been observed in violation of the companies and various government agencies, as there is no legal authority for NEITI to enforce or issue sanctions for their neglect.
Concerned about the repeated disregard for the recommendations in the reports, the participants in the Lagos retreat for the members of the National Assembly on EITI implementation in Nigeria decided to create a parliamentary group to try and stop it.
The chairmen of the relevant committees on extractive industries, both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, explained that the NEITI reports usually contain exhaustive information and data as the most important tools for national planning.
On the backing that was supported by the Trust Africa Project, a non-governmental organization, legislators and their assistants were introduced to the principles, processes, methods and benefits of implementing the EITI in Nigeria and the role of the legislature in the EITI value chain.
NEITI covers trade in goods
In the related development, NEITI announced that it has expanded its activities in the oil and gas industry to cover Commodity Trading.
Director of Communication and Information Protection Ogbonnaya Orji disclosed this at a seminar for government agencies and oil trading companies.
Mr. Ordzhi said that the decision of NEITI to switch to the commodity trade is in line with the agency's mandate in accordance with the global standards EITI 2016.
He told the participants that the overall goal of NEITI's interest in commodity trading was to "increase transparency in the sale of the state's share in production by state and state-owned enterprises."
Encouraging companies and government agencies involved in commodity trading to carefully study the developed NEITI templates, he said that this will help them absorb new reporting requirements within their overall business model.
Representatives of state bodies, oil and gas companies welcomed the decision of NEITI to expand its activities in commodity trading, taking into account the importance of transparency, fair competition and good business ethics.
The participants also advised NEITI to focus on providing accurate data on production, accurate measurement of the volumes of state crude oil, including crude condensate, distribution of crude oil for export and domestic use, accurate calculation of in-kind revenues, taxes and royalties.
Agencies, petroleum product marketers and crude oil trading companies have also identified marketing contracts and related agreements, the process of transferring revenues from the sale of crude oil, lifting and other similar operations, as well as other key areas in commodity trading for NEITI.
The seminar examined templates designed to coordinate transactions in this sector, and decided to give time for marketers / traders to study and contribute.