By Obas Esiedesa

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji yesterday revealed that the agency would soon commence the monitoring of oil bunkering and illegal mining activities in the country to determine how much revenue is being lost to the criminal ventures.

Dr. Orji disclosed this Abuja at the Inauguration of the Communication/Civil Society Steering Committee of NEITI board and the presentation of 2019 Industry report.

He said NEITI has “established a platform and a framework to expand our monitoring system to illegal mining activities and illegal oil bunkering activities across the country as part of our mandate”.  

He also disclosed that the 2020 Industry Reports were at the final stage and would be released soon.

He explained that the Civil Society Steering Committee whose membership is drawn from CSOs, trade unions, media and academia was an advisory committee of the NEITI board.

Speaking on the importance of the CSSC to the work of NEITI, Dr. Orji said: “As a matter of fact, the civil society and media remains the most dependable allies to NEITI in the discharge of its statutory mandates. I must therefore acknowledge and commend all of you for being the agency’s vanguards and partners since our country signed up to the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) about two decades ago.

“I hereby urge you to consider your selection into the Committee as a call to service and opportunity to contribute your own quota to the development of our country, transform its oil, gas and mining sectors to generate the much needed revenues which government needs at this time to meet the social and infrastructural needs of the citizens”.

Earlier, the Chairman of NEITI’s Civil Society Steering Committee, Mr. Peter Egbule urged CSOs working in the oil and gas space to be vigilant as the government continues with the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

He said it was the duty of the CSO to ensure that the provisions of the law were followed to ensure that the industry was managed in a way that works for every Nigerian. 

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