President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated the fifth governing board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to ensure effective EITI implementation in the country.
The president gave the mandate during the inauguration of the 15-member board, also known as National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), including the representative of civil society organisations, Peter Egbule, in Abuja.
Egbule, who is the National Coordinator of Publish What You Pay, Nigeria, and other members of the group were urged to provide ‘policy and strategic direction, guidance, monitoring and oversight to the EITI process in Nigeria’.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Buhari reiterated his administration’s passion for EITI, which implements the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.
‘It [EITI process] serves two key agendas of this administration. As you are aware, the extractive industry is very strategic to Nigeria’s economy and hence central to the administration’s economic agenda’, he said.
‘Secondly, transparency and accountability in the management of our national resources are equally central to the anti-corruption agenda of this government.
‘Nigeria is therefore irrevocably committed to the implementation of EITI in the oil, gas, and mining industries’.
Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest producer of oil, has faced significant challenges, including unaccountable use of revenues and corruption, in the sector.
‘Our faith in the EITI process is not just because it is key to these two key government agendas, but also because, over the years, NEITI has demonstrated a high degree of competence, integrity and commitment to the values that the country requires to achieve economic growth and development in the sector through the availability of reliable information and data required for national planning and reforms’, the president said.
‘It has also supported phenomenal revenue growth in the sector through the meticulous application of EITI principles’.
The Nigerian leader urged the board members to preserve the NEITI virtues for the benefit of all, including children the future generations.
A renowned public administrator, Olusegun Adekunle, is the chairman of the board, while Orji Ogbonnaya Orji serves as secretary.
The chairman assured the president that the new board under his watch will push the boundaries of transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s extractive industries.
He committed to implementing fully the principles of the global EITI and strengthening the ongoing reforms in Nigeria’s extractive sector.
Other board members include the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); and the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
By the NEITI Act 2007, the chairman and members have four-year tenure, while the executive secretary has five-year tenure.
Photo source: WANGONET