A joint Committee between the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and NNPC on the findings and recommendations contained in the NEITI reports has been inaugurated.
The Committee is to focus special attention on the key findings in the NEITI reports as they affect NNPC, its subsidiaries and advise the two agencies on strategies for remedy.
At the inauguration of the committee at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio outlined other responsibilities of the joint committee to include; examining the legacy and other lingering issues in the NEITI reports. These include outstanding revenues to be remitted to the federation account, the methodology being used in the pricing of federation equity crude and issues surrounding the management of the daily allocation of 445,000 barrels of crude oil to the NNPC for domestic use. There is also the issue of divestment of Nigeria’s share in some joint venture assets. The joint committee is also to examine NEITI’s expectation from the NNPC on proactive disclose of information and data on its operations in an open and accessible format.
Mr. Adio remarked that, “This is a win-win for all. It is good for the corporate image of the NNPC, good for NEITI and good for Nigeria. It is not really good for NEITI to be seen as an island of transparency and the rest is seen as the landscape of opacity. We need everyone to embrace and practice transparency”.
“We have moved from open hostility to grudging acknowledgement to where we are now. It took NEITI and the NNPC 15 years to get to this point. That is what EITI is about – collaboration and not antagonism”, Adio stated. He described the event as a major milestone in the relationship between NEITI and the NNPC.
The NEITI Executive Secretary commended the bold initiatives of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC Mr. Mele Kyari over his commitment towards reforms using contents of NEITI reports. He charged members of the Joint Committee to under-take the assignment with professionalism and the seriousness it deserves.
“This new spirit of collaboration and working together to solve problems, of pushing the frontiers of transparency and accountability for the greater good of our country should be sustained, Mr. Adio emphasized”.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, welcomed the unfolding new relationship between the NNPC and NEITI based on mutual respect for good governance and extractive revenue transparency in Nigeria. He called for closer partnership and cooperation between the two agencies in the areas of transparency, accountability and reforms. He reaffirmed the commitment of the corporation to the implementation of the EITI in Nigeria.
Mr. Mele Kyari explained further “we are part of the working group on commodity trading and many other EITI interventions globally. We are committed to ensuring that the observations in the NEITI reports do not repeat themselves many of which are due to lack of communication. We have a responsibility to manage the resources of this country in an equitable and responsible manner”.
The GMD urged members of the committee to identify and escalate issues not within their sphere of influence. “This is a problem solving exercise not a confrontation or entrenched position. Ask questions where necessary and provide answers where needed. Clarify issues, because this is a national challenge and changes must be effected”, Mr Kyari charged the joint committee.
The Joint Committee is expected to carefully validate documentary evidence on issues that have been resolved, identify outstanding remedial issues and areas of disagreement between NNPC and NEITI. The committee is also expected to provide contextual information on NNPC’s platforms and develop a work plan with realistic targets for addressing unresolved issues.
The Director Technical Services, Dr. Dieter Bassi is leading NEITI’s team, while the NNPC’s team is led by Mr. Sunday Fakasi of the Governance, Risk and Control Division. The joint Committee has one month to complete its assignment.