The Muhammadu Buhari administration will implement the findings and recommendations contained in the audit reports of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said.
Osinbajo made the pledge in Abuja on Wednesday while receiving the Chair of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Clare Short, and her delegation at the Defence House, Abuja.
A statement issued by the Director, Communications at the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji, at the end of the meeting, said Osinbajo reaffirmed the Federal Governments’ commitment to the implementation of the EITI’s principles as part of the plans to reform the oil and gas sector.
He said that the Federal Government would carefully study the reports with a view to ensuring that the findings and recommendations guide government’s actions on the reforms.
Short advised the government to consider a major shakeup in the oil and gas industry if the benefits from Nigeria’s abundant resources were to be enjoyed by all Nigerians.
She said, “The NEITI reports have all the information and data that will guide the government to reform the industry. It is also important that the government integrates the NEITI into its overall economic policy team.”
The Chairman of NEITI, Mr. Ledum Mitee, appealed to the government to overhaul the Inter-Ministerial Task Team set up to implement NEITI reports, arguing that the team had recorded very little progress.
On her own part, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, urged the government to divest Nigeria’s interest in the joint ventures operations to free the country from huge burden imposed by Joint Venture obligations.
Ahmed also advised the government to critically examine the management of domestic crude allocations, consider the removal of oil subsidy, abrogation of oil swap arrangement and take urgent steps to recover huge sums that are outstanding in the hands of companies as a result of underpayments, underassessment of taxes, rents and royalties.