The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized a one day Media Interaction on Remediation and Inter Ministerial Task Team Activities (IMTT) with the support from Oxfam Novib. The interaction on Remediation focused on the opacity in the oil and gas industry as well as the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) audit reports. The interaction featured 34 participants drawn from members of the Media in the Extractives Industry, Civil Society Organizations, NEITI, representative of the CSO Chair on the Civil Society Steering Committee, NGOs.
- NEITI has conducted and published four cycles of audit reports and the Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement (FASD) audit in the oil and gas sector and each of these reports have made profound revelations and also identified several processes and governance lapses in the sector as well as provided appropriate recommendations on how to fix the problems in the sector.
- Poverty index in Nigeria has grown in geometric progression since the domestication of the EITI process raising concern on the on the veracity and courage of the NEITI audits.
- The issue of remediation has been of concern to all stakeholders in the industry as poor implementation of remedial issues in its finding is capable of undermining the chances of Nigerians reaping the benefits of the global initiative.
- The role of the National Assembly is central to the implementation of the NEITI recommendations through various platforms such as public hearings as well as adequate budgetary allocation to the agency for efficiency.
- The activities of the IMTT however, are greatly hindered due to lack of political will, resistance by regulatory bodies, poor human resources development and Non-passage of the Petroleum Industries Bill (PIB).
- The success of any social accountability and transparency initiative is dependent on the extent of interaction, synergy and deliberate interface between the civil society and the government. Public accountability is the magic wand that can transform natural resource wealth into sustainable development and revenue transparency into efficient public financial management.
- All Stakeholders in the Extractive Industry including members of the Inter Ministerial Task Team, CSOs, Media should take up the challenge of providing strong partnerships, cooperation and collaboration with NEITI towards full implementation of already developed comprehensive remediation plan.
- The Executive should as a matter of urgency give accent policy arrangements for monitoring and measuring gas and liquids from well-heads to export terminals as a panacea for a more sustainable development, wealth creation and poverty reduction amongst all citizen
- The Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMIT) composing of heads of some Federal Government Ministries, Departments and agencies, regulators, financial institutions and extractive industries operators (companies) should activate its responsibility of implementing the findings and recommendations.
- The Legislature should demonstrate commitment towards remedial issues identified in the NEITI Audits such as physical, financial and process lapses and provide necessary legislative interventions. This is in addition to the use of information and data in the report as tools for debate in both chambers. It is therefore important for legislators at all level especially those at the 8th National Assembly to be fully briefed on NEITI objectives, processes, benefits, challenges and the provisions of NEITI.
- The Civil Society Steering Committee as the clearing House of NEITI, especially on Remediation issues, need to partner and engage with funding agencies to accomplish the set objective of addressing the six prioritized Remedial issues within the next two years.
- There should be some collective efforts by civil society organizations and media by building synergy and advocacy messages that will name and shame those undermining efforts of public accountability and transparent Public Finance Management.
Participants thanked CISLAC with the support from Oxfam for providing the platform for engagement. The meeting resolved to continue to respond to weak arrangement around the domestic crude Oil allocation, Opaque and discretimary license and lease awards process. CSOs and media urged NEITI to increase its efforts towards ensuring a more robust industry.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI)