BY OKEY NDIRIBE
With the searchlight still beaming on the nation’s oil and gas sector over allegations of missing revenue, the Federal Government yesterday inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial task team to ensure the implementation of reports from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). The team was directed to recover all unremitted revenues discovered from audit findings.
This was disclosed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Anyim Pius Anyim who said Nigeria consciously signed up to the Initiative based on a clear conviction”that once transparency was implanted in the management of the nation’s abundant extractive resources, it will boost the government’s efforts towards poverty reduction, sustainable development, social harmony as well as better investment climate”.
Anyim further said that in addition to the responsibility to reconcile and publish revenue receipts from the extractive sector, and ensuring that the enabling law for Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which stresses working closely with the relevant agencies to undertake corrective measures where necessary be put to use, “the law provides for identification of lapses in the management of Oil, gas and mining industries”.
He said the Federal Government fully supports the regular audit and prompt implementation of issues that may arise therefrom.
He charged the reconstituted task team to work closely with NEITI and ensure prompt recovery of all outstanding revenues due to the federal government from audit findings, “and make recommendations to government through the Secretary to the government of the federation”.
Other responsibilities of the new task team include “to undertake any other measure desirable to ensure that recommendations by NEITI add value to on-going reforms in the industry and to advise the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on any issue in NEITI audit report findings that needs the council’s intervention”.
In his own remarks at the occasion, the Chairman of the task team Ledum Mitee said the task team’s reports would not be intended to witch-hunt but “for the purpose of identifying lapses with a view to correct them or better still close them”.