The Federal Government has reconstituted the Inter-Ministerial Task Team, IMTT, on the implementation of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, audit reports on the extractive industry.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Pius Anyim, said in Abuja that President Goodluck Jonathan's decision to reconstitute the task team was to enable the Federal Government fully reintegrate the NEITI mandate into the country's economic policy agenda.
NEITI, inaugurated in February 2004 as a national version of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, a global movement aimed at ensuring that extractive resources aid sustainable development, was given the legal mandate to promote transparency and accountability in the management of Nigeria's oil, gas and mining revenues.
But, over the years, the agency, which has so far published three audit reports on the extractive industry, has not been able to get government to implement or enforce its recommendations, particularly as they relate to sanctions against erring institutions and companies operating in the sector.
Part of the problem was either that NEITI lacked the legal teeth to "bark and bite", or that members of the inter-ministerial task team lacked the capacity and authority to discharge the responsibility of implementing the recommendations in its audit reports.
To remedy the situation, Mr Anyim said, the president constituted a team with high-ranking officials from all key agencies covered by NEITI process, who have requisite authority to take decisions on NEITI Audit Reports findings and recommendations and ensure that they were implemented.
Members of the reconstituted team include the Director, Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Petroleum Resources; Group Executive Director (Exploration and Production), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
Others include the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF); Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); the Auditor General of the Federation; the Chief Economic Adviser to the President; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance; the Managing Director, Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the Chairman, Nigeria Miners Association (NMA); the Director General, Mining Cadastre Office and the Chairman, Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Director, Communications of NEITI, Ogbannanya Orji, said the president is expected to inaugurate the reconstituted Inter Ministerial Task Team in due course.