App to promote transparency in extractive industry unveiled in Lagos
RemTrack, an application developed to enhance transparency in Nigeria’s extractive industry, has been unveiled.
The application, designed and developed by OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative in collaboration with Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), was launched in Lagos, on Tuesday.
During the public presentation of the app, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio, disclosed that RemTrack simply means remediation tracker.
He said the application will grant power to stakeholders and aid access to credible information in the extractive industry.
“It is an app but it is not just an app. It is an app that puts a lot of power in our hands. It is an app that is going to put powers in the hands of all the stakeholders,” he said.
“It is a win-win for everybody. What you are going to be getting on this app is verified and validated information.”
Adio said the launch of the app is a major milestone, adding that the process of remediation requires fixing.
He noted that remediation is the weakest link of NEITI, adding that the app will bridge the gap and boost the influence of the initiative.
“The first thing about this RemTrack is that it is a major milestone in how we are trying to fix remediation,” he said.
“Remediation is supposed to resolve issues but we find out that most of those issues remain unresolved. Despite that some people believe that remediation should be the core of NEITI’s work, it is actually our weakest link. It is the area where NEITI has the least influence.”
Kolawole Banwo, chairman of the civil society steering committee of NEITI, 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.
Babatunde Odu, representative of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), expressed delight about RemTrack, saying it would aid the commission to effectively carry out its functions.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Oke Epia, executive director of OrderPaper Advocacy, said the app is not designed to humiliate or deride anyone, but solely for the good of country.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“It also seeks to expand the scope of civic engagement in the national arena. It is not a tool to deride or malign any organisation.”
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.