The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says ensuring installation of adequate metering infrastructure in the oil and gas sector operations is top on its agenda.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio stated this when he received, in his office, a delegation from Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) led by its National Coordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko.
Mr. Adio noted that due to inadequate metering system, accurate measurement of crude production and liftings as well as appropriate computation of taxes and royalties have been difficult, leading to huge revenue loss to the Nigeria.
“Metering is an issue that is very dear to us”, he said. ‘‘NEITI has long established this issue in its first audit of the sector. Since then we have been pushing, and we will continue to push until the issue is addressed’’.
On the issue of NEITI’s mandate and human rights, the Executive Secretary underlined a strong linkages and correlations between the agency’s mandate and protection of human rights.
Mr. Adio said, “If the resources are not being managed transparently, and there is no good governance, it will definitely impinge on human rights.”
He noted that all Nigerians need to be part of decision-making process and participate in the governance of the nation’s natural resources by taking interest in the information and data contained in the NEITI reports and using the information to hold government and companies accountable.
His words: “NEITI’s work is about how to make natural resources work for every Nigerian. It is not an issue for a few. It is an issue for everybody.”
The Executive Secretary explained that NEITI has the responsibility to ensure transparency, accountability and good governance of Nigeria’s oil, gas and solid minerals sector.
NEITI does this by conducting regular industry audits, disseminating the audit reports, and working with relevant government agencies on remedial issues in the reports, Mr. Adio explained.
Mr. Adio regretted the neglect of the solid minerals sector in the past which has led to its underdevelopment and poor regulation despite huge potential for jobs and wealth creation as well as economic diversification.
He noted however that in line with the recommendations of past NEITI reports, the current Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who is also the Chair of the NEITI Board, recently launched a roadmap for the development of solid minerals sector.
Mr. Adio underlined the urgent need to organize the solid minerals sector to attract global big players the same way that the oil and gas sector has attracted big players like Shell, Chevron, Mobil etc.
The Executive Secretary encouraged HURIWA as well as all Nigerians to take interest and get involved in NEITI’s activities, noting that as a civil society group, the organization has major roles to play in the NEITI process.
Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Onwubiko called for coordinated approach to the development of the solid minerals sector as well as installation of adequate metering infrastructure for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
He commended NEITI for the enormous and courageous work it is doing in the extractive industries, describing NEITI as one of the vibrant government agencies in the country that Nigerians are proud of.
The HURIWA coordinator expressed his organization’s willingness to partner with NEITI to ensure that the agency fulfils its obligations to Nigerians.
HURIWA is a civil rights organization that engages with government agencies that have mandates on transparency, accountability, human rights and good governance.