CISLAC advocates for oil sector reform

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called for reconstitution of Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) in order to reform the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Executive Director of CISLAC, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani who made the call during a media briefing in Abuja on Monday observed that there was slow reform in the extractive sector of the nation’s economy.

Represented by the Program Manager, Environment and Conservation of Nature, Mr Kolawole Banwo, Rafsanjani said the state of extractive sector in the past four months showed that the reforms were not only slow but also shallow.

According to him, beyond the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), other legislation critical for efficiency in the sector and that touch on the interest of oil-producing communities have remained elusive.

“We call on the Executive and the Legislature to ensure adequate funding for Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to enable them to effectively fulfill their mandate as enshrined in the NEITI Act 2007. This is so, so that Nigeria, which was once considered a pace setter and leading light in the implementation of the EITI, would not suffer retrogression.

“We call on the Chairman of the National Stakeholder Working Group (NSWG) of NEITI to collaborate with the office of the Vice-President to initiate the process for reconstituting the IMTT. This mandates it to draw up a remediation action plan and oversee the implementation of the plan with quarterly reports forwarded to the office of the Vice-President,” Rafsanjani said.

He stated that this would make IMTT more accountable, effective and also improve on the level of implementation of NEITI recommendations.

According to him, this demonstration of political will for implementation will in addition to adequate funding, make the EITI more meaningful in impacting the lives of citizens.

The rights activist pointed out that efforts to reorganize the NNPC to make it more profitable and become more open by publishing monthly transaction reports among others, though commendable, had not translated to real reforms.

He urged the Ministry of Justice to intensify efforts and collaboration in fast-tracking the process of implementing the open contracting and beneficial ownership as committed to in the OGP.

He also urged the Federal Government to ensure that the oil and gas sector and the NNPC were not manipulated, because the nation’s collective commonwealth had in the past been used to fund political campaigns.

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