NEITI sets up committee on contract transparency

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has set up a Joint Inter-Agency Committee on the public disclosure of the contents of oil, gas and mining contracts.

The contracts to be disclosed include terms and conditions set out in contracts for exploration and exploitation of Nigeria’s oil and gas assets under the Joint Operating Agreements, Production Sharing Contracts, Service Contracts and Sole- Risk Contracts.

Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of NEITI, announced this in Lagos at a special training on Contract Transparency for members of the NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG).

Orji,  in a statement on Thursday issued by Mrs  Obiageli Onuorah, Deputy Director/Head Communications and Advocacy, NEITI, noted that the disclosures would also cover contracts in the solid minerals sector amongst others.

He explained that the joint committee was carefully drawn from relevant government agencies with direct responsibilities on managing Nigeria’s interests in various funding arrangements in the sector governed by contractual obligations.

The Agencies include; the Federal Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd., Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and the Mining Cadastral Office.NEITI is expected to serve as the secretariat.

“The Joint Inter-Agency Committee on Contract Transparency is also expected to develop a National Roadmap and a Work-plan for the implementation of contract disclosure in the oil, gas and mining industries,” the executive secretary added.

Orji announced that all was set for Nigeria to assume leadership of the global Contract Transparency Network comprising 20 member countries with effect from January 2022.The global Contract Transparency Network is to be chaired by the executive secretary of NEITI, on behalf of Nigeria.

The network comprised 18 countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico, Armenia, Cameroun, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana.Others are Malawi, Guinea, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Senegal, Sao tome e’ Principe, Togo, Zambia and Tanzania.Orji will be taking over from Alexandria Walls of Mexico who has led the global body from inception in 2018.

Nigeria’s tenure as the Chair of the network is for four years.

The Chairman of the NSWG, Mr Olusegun Adekunle, reaffirmed the commitment of the NEITI Board to provide the leadership and strategic direction required by the Agency to implement contract transparency disclosures and other EITI emerging issues.

Adekunle expressed delight that the Joint Inter- Agency Committee was already working to develop a National Roadmap.

He gave the assurance that it would be included in the NEITI five-year strategic plan expected to be approved by the board at its ongoing meeting in Lagos. (NAN)