THE Federal Government, on Wednesday, renewed its commitment to the implementation of the global principles of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as an important tool for governance of Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining industries.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engineer David Babachir Lawal, who disclosed this, further said NEITI interventions have brought immense value to bear in the Federal Government’s anti-corruption programmes in Nigeria.
While receiving a team from the global EITI, who were in Nigeria to assess the country’s level of compliance with implementation of the EITI standards, the SGF reaffirmed government’s commitment to EITI implementation and support for the work of NEITI, even at this time of dwindling resources.
He then described the work of NEITI as top priority to the government, urging the global body to ensure that the process of EITI implementation reflects the specific needs of member countries; their cultural values, orientation and level of development.
According to him, “NEITI is one government agency that has developed character, integrity, competence, skill and professionalism to take on the highly sophisticated oil, gas and mining industries that have remained a black box over the years. NEITI’s independent audit findings and recommendations have become important tools leading the debate for reforms and diversification of the extractive industry”.
Engineer Lawal then expressed hope that the Report of the validation exercise would expand opportunities for deepening the EITI process in the manner that guarantees visible impacts in the development of the country.
Responding, the leader of the Validation team, Alex Gordy appreciated the SGF for the audience, saying the team was in Nigeria to consult and seek the views of stakeholders, collect information and data as part of the process for Nigeria’s participation in the global EITI validation exercise.
He pointed out that the report of the exercise would be shared with participating countries including Nigeria for comments.