‘How app will address transparency in extractive sector’
Stakeholders in the oil, gas and mining sector in the country are counting on the use of an application; RemTrack to improve transparency and accountability in the industry, particularly in forcing oil companies to comply with remedial issues being raised by Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
Over the years, conduct of audit reports sometimes raise alarm over grey areas in the extractive sector, especially as it relates to non-remittance of fund to government confers, with little achieved in remedying the issues.But the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio, said RemTrack, a mobile application for tracking transparency and accountability issues in the oil and gas sector, may be a lasting solution by adding value to the work the agency.
The new application, which was developed by OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative in conjunction with the Civil Society Steering Committee (CSSC) of NEITI organization is expected to enable Nigerians to take advantage healthy and constructive engagements on the audit reports.
Speaking at the launch of the platform, Adio said: “This is a major milestone for the Civil Society Steering Committee and also for us at the level of NEITI as well as for the country as other people have mentioned. This is something that all Nigerians should take credit for, especially the people who midwife the process.
“The app is called RemTrack for a reason, it is remediation tracker. Remediation is a critical part of our work. We do three things; we do reporting, which is publishing the audits; we do dissemination because there is no need just publishing so if we do the audits we have to disseminate it to critical stakeholders and beyond that, we do what is known as remediation.
“This signifies the quest to leverage technology to solve problems. It is a very sensible and smart thing to do in the age that we live in. We live in an age that is the age of technology so, if we don’t take advantage of it, we are just shooting ourselves in the leg.”
Chairman of the Civil Society Steering Committee of NEITI, Kolawole Banwo, said the RemTrack tool would enhance easy engagement by all and make accurate information readily available for use at any time. He said he felt fulfilled that he actively participated in the process that birthed the app and lauded OrderPaper for achieving the feat.
Representative of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Babatunde Odu, expressed delight about the RemTrack app, saying it would aid the commission to effectively carry out its functions.He stated: “The core mandate of my organisation is to monitor accruals into the federation account and disbursement from the same account to the three tiers of government, adding that this is an app that will provide essential information to even ordinary Nigerians on what exactly is going on or being generated, though in the oil and gas and extractive industries will go a long way in enhancing our operations in RMFAC.”
Executive Director of OrderPaper Advocacy, Oke Epia, assured that the app is not designed to humiliate or deride anyone, but solely for the good of country.He explained: “We have not designed it as a tool to deride or witch-hunt anybody or stakeholder. Rather, we are putting in the hands of citizens, a simplified dataset of knowledge and germane information on the state of Nigeria’s extractive industry as contained in the annual audits of NEITI.
“All that we have is all that we have been given by the transparency watchdog and nothing more. This is therefore to assure you that the integrity and sanctity of data contained in the app have met highest possible standards of co-creation and authorization. We are careful to place in the hands of citizens, a verified and validated tool that promises only healthy, factual and evidence-based engagements we all will be happy about at the end of the day”.
“Like we have in our ConsTrack mobile app for civic engagements in budget and public projects tracking, the RemTrack app boasts of the highest standards of content verification and validation which have gone through layers of vetting across value chains.”
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