NEITI seeks end to over-dependence on oil, gas

neiti_logo_227167869The Nigerian Extraction Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has called on state governments to co-operate with it on the issues of sub-national reporting and domestication of NEITI process and principles in order to establish the right investment climate required for attracting the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the solid mineral sector.

Speaking yesterday at the ongoing 35th International Trade Fair in Kaduna, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the cooperation is necessary so as to halt the current over-dependence and dominance in the Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
NEITI’s participation in the fair, she said, is based on the recognition of the huge business and investment potentials in the extractive industries, particularly the solid minerals sector in Northern states of the country.

“Our presence here is to educate and enlighten participants at the fair on the mandate of NEITI vis-a-vis its roles in the efficient management of the extractive industries in Nigeria and to explore possible areas of collaboration with Kaduna State government and other relevant stakeholders,” she said.

According to her, the objectives of EITI implementation include ensuring due process, transparency and accountability in the payments made by all extractive industry/companies to the FG and statutory recipients.

She however said that since 2004, NEITI has conducted and published four cycles of audits in the oil and gas sector covering the period of 13 years from 1999 to 2011, noting that the 2012 audit is ongoing.

On the findings and recommendations of the NEITI audit reports in the solid minerals sector, she stated that the agency is currently working with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to develop a legal framework similar to Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) for the improved governance and management of sector.

Mrs. Ahmed therefore revealed that NEITI has previously assisted the federal government to recover $2.5bn through industrial taxation.

Earlier in his speech, the deputy governor of Kaduna State, Ambassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga, assured of the state’s commitment towards partnering with organizations that have positive initiatives.

“Kaduna state government identifies strongly with NEITI and wishes to affirm support to its philosophy, mandate, objectives and goals whose main purpose is to ensure that revenues from extractive industries is properly managed to ensure sustainable economic development and to reduce poverty,” he said.

He called on federal government to continue to support NEITI with the necessary political will required to enable the agency meet its objectives while he urged NEITI to expand the scope of its work to all states and local governments in Nigeria. “Kaduna state is open and ready to work with NEITI in areas of mutual interests,” he assured.

 

[Daily Trust]

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