The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), has disclosed partnership plans with the Mallam Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Taskforce, set up recently by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Speaking at a retreat in Calabar, organised for the Legislators on NEITI's objectives and EITI Implementation in Nigeria, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said that the agency was open to partner with anyone who shares its ideals of openness, trust, accountability and good governance.
She said: "Our mandate is clear and we will not compromise in the discharge of the mandate under the law that set up NEITI. But we are open to partner with anyone who shares similar ideals of openness, trust, accountability and good governance. I am therefore delighted that the chairman of the recently inaugurated Petroleum Special Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and members of his committee have shown interest to work with NEITI.
"NEITI has received a request from the task force for a meeting to discuss areas of cooperation. While NEITI looks forward to a new date for the meeting, it is important to stress that such partnership, through inter-agency collaboration, is required to deal with complex issues of governance and corporate business ethics in the extractive sector."
She noted that NEITI's comprehensive audits are coming at a time majority of Nigerians view the extractive sector with suspicion and distrust following allegations of corruption and fraudulent practices.
She said that all the key committees in the extractive sector have resolved to provide every legislative support to NEITI to confront the complex corrupt practices in the oil sector in particular and extractive industries in general.
Speaking at the retreat, the Chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals, Isa Hassan Mohammed, urged NEITI to articulate areas of challenges in the performance of its functions for necessary action at the House of Representatives.
Earlier, the NEITI boss called on the NASS to encourage NEITI by developing interest and time to discus and debate its audit reports, using information and data, to hold government and companies to account.
"The role of the National Assembly is central to the implementation of the NEITI Act of 2007. For instance, the remedial issues identified in the NEITI audits such as physical, financial and process lapses require legislative interventions.
This is in addition to the use of information and data in the report as tools for debate. It is therefore important for legislators at all levels, especially those at the National Assembly to be fully briefed on NEITI's objectives, processes, benefits, challenges and the provisions," Ahmed said in a statement by Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Director, Communications, NEITI.