November 20, 2023

NEITI seeks closer ties with mining companies to boost revenue


By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja

In a bid to improve transparency, accountability and boost government revenue from the solid minerals sector, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has called for a stronger and deeper partnership with the mining companies in the country.

Speaking when a delegation from Miners Association of Nigeria led by its President visited the NEITI House in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji government was increasingly focusing on the mining sector.

NEITI had in its 2021 Solid Minerals Industry Report released recently disclosed that government revenue from the industry grew by 52 percent to N177.44 billion from N116.82 billion recorded in 2020.

“This meeting is very important to NEITI in view of our renewed hope and renewed commitment to deepen our engagement with Mining Companies considering the Federal Government’s attention to the solid minerals sector.

“We are passionate about our relationship with the Mining Companies because you define our scope of engagement with the solid mineral industry. You define the essence of the level of revenue generation in the industry, government take, companies profit and the level of investments that can flow into the industry”, he stated.

Dr. Orji explained that the role of NEITI “in the engagement with the companies is to draw national and international attention on best ways to do business in the areas of transparency and accountability in order to provide profit for the companies in an accountable manner and provide revenues for government to be able to meet its obligations to the citizens through the provision of much-needed infrastructure that will support national development”.

He pointed out that in implementing the global EITI principles, it must be clear that when the business environment is characterized by acrimony, violence, insecurity and conflicts, business opportunities will be limited.

“Therefore, when we provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, both the host communities, states, country and the companies that do business in the sector will be happy and fulfilled. That is why the EITI believes very strongly that on transparency and accountability, everyone gains and is a beneficiary.

“When we do not have a fair, equitable and accountable industry, violence is almost inevitable and these actions impede smooth business flow and interplay. NEITI’s role is to avoid all of this by ensuring that as Miners you are provided with the opportunities and enabling environment to carry out your business”, he added.

On his part, the President, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) Mr. Dele Ayanleke commended NEITI’s for its consistent efforts in carrying out its mandate of ensuring transparency and accountability in the extractives industry. He affirmed that NEITI’s independent auditing and reporting on the solid minerals sector has been beneficial to members of his Association and has helped to highlight the sector’s revenue generation potential.

Mr. Ayanleke expressed concerns over interference by some State Governments which hinders growth of the sector and sought NEITI’s support in advocating for stronger compliance from subnational entities with the legal and regulatory frameworks governing the solid minerals sector.