21 July 2016, Abuja – The Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says inadequate resources and lack of political will pose major challenges to the agency’s operations.
Mr Waziri Adio, NEITI’s Executive Secretary, said this on a visit to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Adio said that inadequate resources had hindered the smooth operations of NEITI and urged the Federal Government to assist the agency impact more on the economy.
“We have a number of challenges; one is that we do not have enough resources to do all the things we should be doing.
“If you remember, people accuse us that our reports do not come on time.
“Not because we don’t want to do them on time but because the resources are not enough and they do not come on time and they do not come as at when due.
“We keep engaging with government to see that this is very important, because some of the reports have also led to government recouping some money.
“Through our work government can actually access more resources and through our work government in the past had recouped some resources.
“So government should empower us more to make sure that we are able to do more and provide more value for government.’’
Adio said lack of political will on the parts of leaders was also a major hindrance on the operations of NEITI.
“Everything rises and ends on political will, if you do not have the backing of the government of the day, there is a limit to how far you can go.
“But if you have a government that wants to do the right thing and gives you protection to do your work, then we can do much more in the interest of the country.
“And I want to believe that we have such a government in place, because this government as I said before was elected on the platform to grow the economy, fight insecurity and corruption.’’
The executive secretary said NEITI was working in line with the present administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the oil sector.
He said the agency was also carrying out reports to highlight ways of generating more revenue for government from the oil sector as well as taking advantage of the vast opportunities in the solid minerals sector.
Adio expressed optimism that the present administration would grant NEITI all the necessary support it requires to achieve its mandate.
He also pledged the agency’s commitment to create more value for the government by establishing reforms and avenues to recoup misappropriated moneys.
He said the agency would also assist government in sectors in need of reform to boost the economy.