President Goodluck Jonathan Monday called on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to do more to support efforts by the federal government to stop the exportation of stolen crude oil from Nigeria.
He told the EITI Chairperson, Ms. Clare Short, who visited him in Abuja, that EITI should join the federal government in working to ensure that refineries that receive stolen crude oil from Nigeria are identified and punished.
“The efforts of EITI in criminalising ‘blood diamonds’ from African mines have helped in curtailing that illegal business. I urge you to also support Nigeria as we confront the forces stealing Nigerian crude oil.
“The theft of crude oil from Nigeria involves the collusion of foreigners and the stolen crude is refined abroad. EITI can use its mechanisms to help us track down the thieves and those who receive the stolen crude oil,” he said
Jonathan who observed that Africa was losing a lot through leakages in the mining and extractive industry, also urged Short and her colleagues at EITI to help in ending the exploitation of Africans and African nations by multinational companies engaged in the extraction of the continent’s immense natural resources.
According to him, in keeping with the federal government’s commitment to giving the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) all necessary support and freedom to discharge its duties, he will inaugurate an expanded inter-ministerial committee next week to ensure greater synergy in NEITI’s investigations and facilitate the implementation of its recommendations for greater probity in Nigeria’s oil industry.
Commending EITI’s efforts to discourage exploitation and corruption in extractive industries across the world, President Jonathan assured Short and her team that Nigeria will continue to strive for even greater openness and transparency in its oil and mining sectors.
Short briefed Jonathan on EITI’s ongoing efforts to ensure that oil and other mineral resources of countries are well managed and utilised for the benefit of their citizens.
Information from This Day was used in this report.