Posted by News Express | 5 June 2016 | 2,434 times
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has welcomed the attention that the Senate is devoting to the NEITI Audit Reports for 2013 that was released recently and the commitment by the Senate President that the report will be debated at the plenary sessions on the floor of the Senate.
The advocacy group in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) recalled that upon the release of the report on May 23, 2016, CISLAC had in a statement, decried the recurrence of damning findings the report contained and called on the National Assembly to, upon receipt of the reports, table same for debate during plenary and use it as a springboard to expedite the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“CISLAC had always advocated that a major component of legislative responsibility in effective oversight of the implementation of the NEITI process and Audit Report, to which Nigeria commits huge amounts of financial and human resources, is to have it debated on the floor of the National Assembly (NASS) and thereafter followed by resolutions which are then followed through for implementation. We had always advocated that these actions were critical in ensuring the implementation of remedial action arising from the reports,” the statement read.
CISLAC said it also believes that the debate in plenary will, in addition to publicising the findings to promote deeper debates among citizens, contribute to facilitating the implementation of the recommendations of the auditors, “by engaging the NSWG to promptly set up the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) and prompting them into immediate action.”
It also called on the House of Representatives to follow suit “in debating the reports and to also come up with useful resolutions. CISLAC calls on the relevant Committees in both chambers to strengthen their oversight of the covered entities and other agencies involved in the management of revenues from our natural resources, to ensure that they lead up to expectations as a proactive way of preventing the recurrence of the nature of findings reported in the 2013 in subsequent reports.”
The group further “reiterates its call on the Federal Government to urgently commence the process for the passage of the PIB. We recall that the party in government had promised during the campaigns that they would ensure the passage of the PIB within one year if voted into office. We are therefore disappointed that this is yet to be done. The commitment to send a draft bill within the first quarter of 2016 has also obviously passed without fulfillment. We are aware that both chambers of the NASS have draft Bills pending before them. Now is the time to give this greater attention and demonstrate the sense of urgency that this matter deserves.”
•Photo shows CISLAC Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani).
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