President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the full implementation of the principles of extractive industries transparency initiative in the Nigerian oil, gas and mining sector.
The President gave his assurance today through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim while inaugurating the Board of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Abuja.
“On behalf of Mr President, I wish to sate the unequivocal commitment of the Federal Government to full implementation of transparency and accountability as enshrined in the NEITI Act and the principles and criteria of the global Extractive initiative Industries Transparency Initiative.”
He explained that the work of NEITI through its independent reports set the pace for government’s decision to carry out massive reforms in the extractive industry. “Your appointment is therefore coming at a time that the work of NEITI in the extractive sector has set the pace for the Federal Government to embark on massive reforms of the sector especially the oil and gas industry to ensure that revenues from the industry support Mr President’s transformation agenda”
He explained that “The Petroleum Industry Bill now before the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law is a testimony of government determination to reform the sector to conform to NEITI principles and objectives of transparency and accountability in all business transactions in the extractive industry.”
The President identified as priorities to the new Board: making NEITI Audit reports regular, current and user friendly, implementation of NEITI’s five year development plan, human capacity development, effective communications, expanding NEITI activities to states and local governments, coordinated legal framework and building better inter agency alliances as well as priority to NEITI compliant programmes.
He advised the Board to maintain highest ethical standard expected of a Board supervising anti-corruption agency like NEITI.
Responding, the Chairman of NEITI National Stakeholder Working Group (NSWG) Mr. Ledum Mitee promised to take NEITI principles of good governance, transparency and accountability to all nooks and crannies of the extractive industries.
Mr. Mitee pledged that while focusing on the oil and gas sector, NEITI under his leadership will expose, explore and expand the potentials in the Nigeria’s solid minerals through a coordinated programme built on EITI principles.
The composition of the new National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) include, Mr. Ledum Mitee-Chairman, Hajia Mariam Ladi Ibrahim -Member, Dr. Kate Okparaeke -Member, Mr. Isaac Boyi – Member, Barr. Patrick Udonfang – Member, Mrs. Abiola Enitan Edenaike – Member, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmud, SAN – Member and Engr. Musa Nashumi – Member.
Others are Chairman, OPTS, (Rep. of Extractive Industry Companies) – Member, National Coordinator, Publish What You Pay, in Nigeria (Rep. of Civil Society) – Member, and President of PENGASSAN (Rep. of Labour Union)-member.
Also on the Board is Mr. Dominic Nwachukwu-Member, Mr. Bassey Ekefere – Member, Group Managing Director (NNPC) – Member, and the Executive Secretary of NEITI Mrs Zainab Ahmed – member and Secretary to the Board.
The inaugural meeting holds on Thursday, 23rd August, 2012 at the NEITI Secretariat.
Full text of SGF’s speech below:
SPEECH BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION, SENATOR ANYIM PIUS ANYIM, GCON AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE NEWLY APPOINTED NEITI NATIONAL STAKEHOLDERS WORKING GROUP (NSWG) ON WEDNESDAY 22 AUGUST, 2012 AT THE CONFERENCE ROOM OF THE SGF
On behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr GoodLuck EbeIe Jonathan, GCFR, I wish to congratulate you all on your appointment as members of the NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) which is the Board of the agency.
Nigeria signed up to the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2003, began implementation in 2004 and supported the policy with the NEITI Act of 2007. The mandate of NEITI and the EITI globally is to ensure transparency and accountability in revenue flows accruing from the extractive industry. The objective is to ensure that extractive resources aid sustainable development with specific target on poverty reduction, elimination of social conflicts and creation of peaceful business environment in our country.
To achieve this and more, one of the key functions of NEITI is to conduct annual industry audits of the extractive industry to verify and reconcile revenues paid to government, establish what government actually received; disseminate the information through the media, the civil society and the elected representatives. The goal is to build citizens trust, provide information and data as necessary tools to hold government and companies to account.
The whole concept of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is not only built on government, companies and civil society relations but commitment to openness, transparency and accountability through public discussions with a view to making sure that Nigerians benefit from the resources in our country.
Against this background, NEITI is not just a national agency but an organization with both national mandate and international affiliation. The activities of NEITI under your watch must therefore adhere strictly to the provisions of NEITI Act, global best practices and guidelines of the EITI International.
Your appointment is therefore coming at a time that the work of NEITI in the extractive sector has set the pace for the Federal Government to embark on massive reforms of the sector especially the oil and gas industry to ensure that revenues from the industry support Mr. President’s transformation agenda.
The Petroleum Industry Bill now before the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law is a testimony of government determination to reform the sector to conform to NEITI principles and objectives of transparency and accountability in all business transactions in the extractive industry. On behalf of Mr. President, I wish to state the unequivocal commitment of the Federal Government to full implementation of transparency and accountability as enshrined in the NEITI Act and the principles and criteria of the global Extractive initiative Industries Transparency Initiative.
Your track record of experience, professionalism, knowledge, competence and integrity is required in this national assignment to provide clear strategies and policy direction that will enable NEITI play leading roles in the proposed government reform agenda.
The appointment is also a testimony of the Federal Government confidence in your ability to translate NEITI activities into visible impacts in the lives of our people through development of better systems and procedure that will strengthen the role of the civil society, companies and the government as important stakeholders in the process.
As you are aware, NEITI has conducted several audit reports but implementation of the findings and recommendations have not yielded the desired results. This is one of the challenges which you must look into by ensuring that remedial issues contained in the NEITI audit reports are implemented. There is also the tendency for some companies and covered entities to attempt to frustrate the work of NEITI by refusing to comply with the process. You must identify such companies and agencies for appropriate sanctions as provided for in the law.
Nigeria recently attained compliant status in the global EITI but needs to sustain implementation in order to retain this status, there is urgent need for you to evolve policies that will promote NEITI-post compliant programs, through NEITI 5-year development plan document already developed. You are also expected to give priority attention to regular reporting, human capacity development, effective communication, expanding NEITI activities to states and local governments, coordinated legal framework and building inter-agency alliances to promote compliance and grassroots impacts. You are equally to provide necessary guidance and supervision for the on-going activities especially the audit projects of the agency for which you will be adequately briefed.
It is important to state that your appointment is on part-time basis. The NEITI Executive Secretary and her management team are responsible for the day-to- day running of the Secretariat. In this direction, please study the NEITI Board Charter which clearly defines the functions of the Board and its relationship with the Secretariat and provided measures to avoid friction.
Also important for you to study is the NEITI Act, NEITI Handbook, EITI rules and other relevant documents to acquaint you with the basic information, guidelines and procedure for effective performance of your duties. It is equally important that you work closely with His Excellency, Governor Ibrahim Dankwanbo of Gombe State who is currently the Nigeria’s representative in the EITI International Board.
As members of the Board, you must imbibe the highest ethical standards expected of a public officer especially one charged with the responsibility of supervising an anti-corruption agency like NEITI. On this note, I wish to pay special tribute to the former Board led by Prof Assisi Asobie whose tenure ended in January this year.
Apart from institutionalization of the NEITI process, the former Board demonstrated highest level of discipline, ethical and moral standards in the discharge of its assignments throughout its tenure which earned the members both national and international recognition. I have no doubt that with your diverse backgrounds, experience and exposure; you will build on this enviable reputation and other achievements of your predecessors.
While congratulating you once more for the appointment, On behalf of Mr. President, it is now my honour and privilege to formally inaugurate the NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) which comprises of Mr. Ledum Mitee – Chairman; Executive Secretary of NEITI Mrs. Zainab Ahmed – Member/Secretary to the Board; Hajia Mariam Ladi Ibrahim – Member; Dr. Kate Okparaeke – Member; Mr. Isaac Boyi – Member; Barr. Patrick Udonfang – Member; Mrs. Abiola Enitan Edenaike – Member; Abubakar Balarabe Mahmud, SAN – Member; Engr. Musa Nashumi – Member; Chairman, OPTS, (Rep. of Extractive Industry Companies) – Member; National Coordinator, Publish What You Pay, Nigeria (Rep. of Civil Society) – Member; President of PENGASSAN (Rep. of Labor Union) – member; Mr. Dominic Nwachukwu, MD, Ground Water Resources Ltd. (Extractive Industry Expert)-Member; Bassey Ekefene – Member; and Group Managing Director (NNPC) – Member
I wish you all a most successful tenure.
Thanks for your attention.