By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Monday called for urgent action on some of the remediation issues identified in its audit reports on the industry to ensure value on investment.
NEITI Executive Secretary, Mr Waziri Adio made the call in Abuja, at a National Conference on Remedial issues with the theme ” Resolving Remedial issues in the NEITI report.
He named some of the unresolved remediation issues are cash call expenditure, domestic CRUDE allocation and management, unlimited Crude oil lifting by NPDC and incomplete reporting by CBN.
Others, he said, include undisclosed education tax liability, inadequate measurement infrastructure in oil and gas industry, unreconciled subsidy payments, among others.
He said that it was unfortunate that most of the issues raised through the various reports of NEITI had never been addressed adding that the Inter-ministerial Task Team (IMTT) had not functioned effectively.
“ This is because most people sent to represent some of the agencies indicted by some of reports are jurnior workers that may not be able to say anything about their organisation.
“Unfortunately, there is nothing in the NEITI act that allows it to punish those who do not undertake the right things.
“For instance, NEITI cannot punish Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources or other organizations indicted by the report, ” he said.
He said that there was the need for high profile people to attend the IMTT to enable it tackle some of the remediation issues.
Adio suggested that political authorities should invest energy to strengthen the IMTT because they were key for results to be achieved.
“For instance, if the office of the vice president calls for a meeting and all stakeholders involved in the issues are invited and are asked to give a feedback , they will respond quickly.
“Remedial issues is too big to be left for NEITI because it has no powers”, he said.
Also, Mr kolawole Banwo, Chairperson Civil Society Steering Committee on NEITI board said that said that much time was vested in discussing remediation issues other than action taken.
He said that government must demonstrate commitment on how to deal with the issues to ensure value for money spent.
“If we have been implementing recommendations of auditors, some of the corruption issues in the sector could have been reduced, ” he said. (NAN)