19 March 2012, Sweetcrude, CALABAR – Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), says the agency is conducting a comprehensive audit of the oil and gas industry between 2009 and 2011.
Ahmed made the statement in Calabar at an induction workshop for the legislature on the implementation of extractive industries transparency initiative in Nigeria.
She said there was need for members of the legislature to support NEITI to achieve its mandate as stipulated in the NEITI Act of 2007, stressing; “Since Nigeria signed up to the global EITI in 2003 and began the implementation in 2004, the role of the legislature in the process has remained one of the missing links”
Ahmed also said that NEITI had begun another comprehensive audit of solid minerals for the first time in Nigeria, covering the period between 2007and 2010.
“The audit would be completed by the close of 2012,” the secretary said, adding that the audit was prompted by an earlier study of the solid mineral sector by NEITI. She said that the comprehensive audit was coming at a time when majority of Nigerians viewed the extractive sector, especially oil and gas industry, with suspicion and distrust.
Ahmed said the workshop was designed to close the information gap between NEITI and the National Assembly and also bring NEITI closer to the legislature.
“The event of today is also as a result of interest which this current National Assembly has demonstrated to work with NEITI, ‘’ she said. The secretary appealed to the auditors to carry out comprehensive audits with courage, diligence, competence and integrity.
“I have no doubt the outcome of the industries’ audits will reveal a positive future for our oil, gas and solid mineral industry. By provision of reliable comprehensive information and data required to re-position the sector,” Ahmed said.
She said that NEITI was ready and willing to work with any Nigerian, individuals and groups genuinely interested in the enthronement of transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and solid mineral sectors.
“We in NEITI strongly believe that revenues from Nigeria’s abundant natural resources must support poverty reduction, rebuilding of our infrastructure and improvement in our people’s standard of living.”
Earlier, Rep. Isa Mohammed, Chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals, said the assembly was not fully aware of what was happening in the industry. “We don’t know much of their implementations; we need to know what is really going on in the industries. I want to make a move so that we can have full deliberation of NEITI right now,” he said.