President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern that Nigeria has attracted only $3 billion out of the $75 billion investment that was pumped into the extractive industry in sub-Saharan Africa.
He, therefore, advised the newly constituted Board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to build on the efficiency, excellence and high reputation with which NEITI has led on –going reforms in the oil gas and mining sector.
The President gave the advice in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State while declaring open a retreat for members of the Board at Ibom Resort.
He explained that the work of NEITI strongly aligns with the vision of the administration to provide a robust governance framework in the oil, gas and mining industry.
The policy measure is to guarantee professionalism, transparency, accountability, good returns on investment and improved revenue.
Buhari, represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, urged the new Board to provide the required leadership and strategic direction for NEITI to channel similar attention it has shown in the oil and gas industry to the solid minerals sector to galvanize reforms in the solid minerals sector.
“The Board of NEITI must articulate a new approach and seek productive collaborations where necessary, to make Nigeria investment destination and dramatically increase the quantum of investments to the country”. The President stated.
He used the opportunity of the NEITI retreat to reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to use the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to implement reforms and revenue growth.
He charged the new Board to note that their appointment is part-time and avoid acts capable of disrupting the day to day management of the agency.
“I have witnessed a lot of disruptions to agency activities due majorly to a misunderstanding and at times deliberate misinterpretation of roles”.
The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Olusegun Adekunle pledged the commitment of the team to push the boundaries of EITI implementation in Nigeria to achieve impactful results.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji explained that the retreat was designed to expose members of the Board to the methods, principles and benefits of EITI in Nigeria.
The exercise he added was also put together to build the capacity of the Board to take up their leadership role with knowledge and competence.
The head of the International Secretariat of the EITI, Dr. Mark Robinson in a message from the headquarters in Oslo, Norway said the world body is ready and willing to offer technical assistance to the new Board to perform its functions.
Global and national experts on EITI, the extractive industry governance, law, public policy and administration are serving as resource persons at the retreat.