By Omeiza Ajayi
The Federal Government has inaugurated the 15-member board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative NEITI, with a charge to them to ensure that the standard set by their predecessors is not just maintained but surpassed.
Inaugurating the board, which is also known as the National Stakeholders Working Group NSWG, Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha said the extractive industry is very strategic to Nigeria’s economy and hence central to the administration’s economic agenda.
“Secondly, transparency and accountability in the management of our national resources is equally central to the anticorruption agenda of Nigeria is therefore irrevocably committed to the implementation of EITI in the oil, gas, and mining industries.
“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 availability of reliable information data required for national planning and reforms. It has supported phenomenal revenue growth in the sector through meticulous application of EITI principles.
“As members of this board, you must ensure that NEITI continues to preserve these virtues for the benefit of all of us present here today and for future generations.
“In order to achieve this, I must remind you that your assignment is non-partisan because NEITT itself is non-political and has maintained dignified neutrality all through almost two decades of existence.
“Let me also on behalf of Mr. President use this opportunity to renew the commitment of the Nigerian government to the EITI implementation under the provisions of the NEITI Act 2007, and international standards and best practices under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative principles and emerging issues such as Beneficial Ownership Disclosure, Contract Transparency, data mainstreaming, among others.
“I am aware of the giant strides and laudable achievements that NEITI has already recorded over the development of our extractive sector by previous Boards in the implementation of NElTI in Nigeria. But I trust that You will not only consolidate on these achievements, but you will also build strongly and surpass them”, Mustapha charged.
While a retired Permanent Secretary in the Office of the SGF, Olusegun Adeyemi Adekunle was named Chairman, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, members include the Executive Secretary, NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji; Group Managing Director NNPC, Mele Kyari
(Representing National Oil and Gas Company); Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Mamman Nami
(Extractive Industry Revenue accountability); President, Nigeria Mining & Geosciences Society, Alabo Charles (Extractive Industry Professional Union); and President, PENGASSAN, Comrade Festus Osifo, (Extractive Industries Professional Union Industries) among others.