Insist on review of enabling law
The National Assembly and the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), yesterday, in Abuja insisted that there was a need to drive more revenue from the oil and gas sector through a collaborative approach that will ensure earnings from the sector benefits the masses.
The stakeholders also said a review of the act that established the watchdog agency has become compelling, to bridge the inherent gap, especially expanding the scope of the entity to another segment of the industry.
Speaking during an oversight visit by the lawmakers to NEITI, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Preye Oseke, said with the oil and gas sector providing about 90 per cent of the nation’s revenue, there was need to deepen accountability and transparency in the sector.
For that to happen, Oseke said partnering with NEITI and addressing challenges that could hinder projected objectives remained sacrosanct.
“We will keep building on the existing relationship that we already have. It has been a very cordial one geared towards ensuring accountability and transparency in the extractive industry. The extractive industry gives about 80 to 90 per cent of our revenue. Hence, it is important that National Assembly always work with NEITI to achieve results,” he said.
Osaka said a review of the NEITI Act would be prioritized when it gets into the National Assembly, noting that the review is necessary to ensure that the agency copes in the face of prevailing industry realities and changes.
“We all want a transparent system. The review of the NEITI Act is not something new, so we will approach it with speed to enhance the working of NEITI,” Oseke said.
Speaking, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji, said the agency understands the current revenue crisis and the need for further transparency and accountability to ensure more revenue is remitted to the government.
According to him, there is a need to ensure that the revenue is also channeled into the development of the country.
“We understand the challenges that our government is facing at the moment in the area of revenue generation to finance national social infrastructure. Our vision is to drive revenue growth.
“When we generate revenue, we want to see the impact in terms of the building of roads. We want to see it in terms of railways, a social impact like health and education sector, security and others,” Ogbonnaya said.