OrderPaperToday – The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and other stakeholders in the extractives industry, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other key players in the oil and gas sector have commended OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative (OAI) on the public presentation of RemTrack, a mobile application that enables and empowers citizens to track remediation issues in NEITI audit reports.
They also harped on the need for accurate, unbiased and unsensationalised information dissemination by operators of the app.
The app was designed by OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative in conjunction with Civil Society Steering Committee (CSSC).
The charge was given during the unveiling of RemTrack in Lagos State, on Tuesday, 3 November, 2019.
Delivering a keynote address at the event, the executive secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, expressed optimism that RemTrack, a mobile application for tracking transparency and accountability issues in the oil and gas sector, will immensely add value to the work of his organisation and called on citizens of Nigeria to take advantage of the platform for healthy and constructive engagements.
“This is a major milestone for the Civil Society Steering Committee but also for us at the level of NEITI and also for the country as other people have mentioned,” he said.
He added, “This is something that all Nigerians should take credit for, especially the people who midwifed the process.”
“Yes, it is an app but it is also more than an app for reasons that others have mentioned. This is very significant; it is a major milestone in the quest for transparent and accountable governance of our extractive resources. The app is called RemTrack for a reason, it is remediation tracker and as mentioned before, remediation is a critical part of our work. We do 3 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 so what is known as remediation.”
Urging Nigerians to engage the app so that its benefits can be unlocked for the overall benefit of the country, he added, “This signifies the quest to leverage on 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.”
The executive secretary, however, cautioned against viewing remediation in money terms only, while calling for focus on how to fix systematic procedural issues that keep knotty issues from reoccurring.
In his remarks, the executive director of OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative and publisher of OrderPaper Nigeria said RemTrack is a global intervention modified purposely for transparency and good governance.
“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.
“RemTrack is a technology-for-development intervention built to organise the audit reports into user-friendly data on remediation issues, progress and outcomes of reconciliation, and the covered entities. The app is designed for android and apple devices to be used in mobile phones and other hand-held devices”.
On his part, one of the key facilitators of OAI, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe of FOSTER, expressed confidence in the technology and challenged all stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to act by the rules.
“I must say that I’m very very proud to be associated with this organisation (OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative).
“We are happy that RemTrack is been launched today because you cannot possibly go wrong with technology. We want RemTrack to be a challenge to the oil sector, stakeholders and to government. We want to improve citizen engagement in the sector”.
Representative of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr 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.”
Odu also called for replication by other agencies.
Mr. Kolawole Banwo, chairman of the Civil Society Steering Committee of NEITI also submitted that 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.