By Aaron Ossai
House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources, (Downstream) has commended the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI for its transparency and accountability in the management of Nigeria’s oil, gas, and mining revenues.
The commendation was made by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere when members of the Global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI met with members of the Senate and House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum Resources yesterday.
He also commended the work and vision of the Global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI in promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance in revenues from natural resources in resource-rich countries like Nigeria.
He said NEITI has also done well in its giant strides and courage in pursuing its mandate and mission in Nigeria’s extractive sector.
“The openness, transparency and partnership we enjoy with NEITI have never been seen in the National Assembly.
“In truth to our partnership and for the first time in the history of the House of Representatives, we successfully laid the NEITI 2021 Oil and Gas Industry Report on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday the 25th of October, 2023, via a Motion which I sponsored, in compliance with the provisions of the Section 4 (3) of the NEITI Act.
“The House, through its Petroleum Resources Committees, has commenced its consideration, investigating, and working on all the recommendations from the Report. The outcomes of this review will be made public and implemented accordingly”, he said.
Speaking further, he said as a Committee, its agenda is targeted at introducing key amendments to the Petroleum Industry Act, so as to ensure stronger provisions for clean energy transition.
“We are also focused on reviewing the NEITI Act, to grant NEITI statutory powers to implement the findings of their investigation, and possibly execute the recommendations of their Report.
“We are also considering granting NEITI powers to prosecute those found to be in breach of extant laws; strengthening the governance structure of NEITI; placing more emphasis on crucial disclosure requirements of EITI especially as it relates to contract transparency and beneficial ownership; independent funding for NEITI; timely review and action on reports by the National Assembly, among others.
“We are also working with sister Petroleum/Oil and Gas Committees with a view to ascertaining those who operate extractive industries in Nigeria, so as to deepen transparency and public oversight of the industries through the House.
“We also seek to pursue the recovery of public funds that were either mismanaged, wasted or yet to be remitted from the extractive industries. It is also our desire to ensure that there is accountability on the part of state-owned extractive industries, so as to ensure that greater value and revenue is derived from the sector for the good of the nation and to foster a sustainable energy transition.
“As part of ways to ensure the success of our legislative Agenda, we have secured the partnership, support and commitment of over 70 fellow lawmakers as co-sponsors for our critical bills which seek to review some provisions of the NEITI Act, which I believe will help to fully realize the objective of NEITI, expand and achieve the desired transparency in the extractive industry”, he added.