Tinubu Inaugurates 15-member NEITI Board, Recommits to Removing Opacity in Extractive Industry

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday inaugurated the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), pledging to ensure transparency in Nigeria’s extractive sector.

The president also reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the implementation of the principles and Standard of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Nigeria.

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, who also chairs the new NEITI board, the president stated that transparency in the extractive sector as well as prudent management of Nigeria’s resources was central to his administration’s economic agenda and the anticorruption policies of the government.

“The present administration is passionate and remains fully committed to the global extractive industries transparency initiative, the work of NEITI and the visible impacts which the EITI process has achieved so far in Nigeria.

“Our faith in the EITI process is not just because it is central to our key government agendas, but also because, over the years, NEITI has demonstrated a high degree of competence, integrity and commitment to the values that the country requires to achieve economic growth and development in the sector through availability of reliable information and data required for national planning and reforms.

“NEITI has supported phenomenal revenue growth in the sector through meticulous application of EITI principles. Our national and global focus are on energy security, efficiency and justice in energy financing, renewables and control of emissions.

“ The work of NEITI is so important to our country and particularly this administration in helping us to define our country’s engagement strategy on the energy transition debate through consultations, constructive engagement driven by reliable information and data”, the president affirmed.

Tinubu emphasised NEITI’s non-partisan nature, calling on the NSWG members to conduct themselves according to the EITI that defines the function of the NSWG to be focused on policy and oversight, not day-to-day management.

“It is also necessary for me to stress that your appointment is a part-time one. Your appointment as a member of the NSWG is not a full-time job and as members, please note this very carefully to avoid getting involved on issues of day-to-day management which is the work of NEITI management under the leadership of the executive secretary. You are therefore advised to conduct yourselves in accordance with this requirement,” he added.

Addressing the board shortly after inauguration, Akume stated that his appointment demonstrates the federal government’s prompt and timely response to the recent global EITI assessment of Nigeria’s implementation of the initiative which among other observations stressed the urgent need to reconstitute NEITI’s board to avoid sanctions.

The chairman of the board stressed the need for the new NEITI board to immediately take steps to address the other outstanding issues raised by the EITI validation report which the NEITI secretariat has already prepared a detailed corrective action plan for the board to consider.

“This board has the responsibility to understand the issues and provide policy support to the secretariat to successfully implement the plan. Nigeria scored 72 points in that global assessment and it is my hope that Nigeria will score 100 points at the next validation due in January 2026 under this board and my chairmanship”

“Our duty as a board is to provide strong policy direction for NEITI and the extractive sector for the full implementation of the EITI principles and standards to ensure transparency and accountability in the sector.

“We must support the ongoing independent audits of the industry, reforms in the oil and gas sector being driven by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, the reforms in the solid minerals sector and the proposed amendments of the NEITI Act,” he added.

Other members of the 15-man NEITI board include the executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), a representative of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and the President of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN).

The civil society organisations have Dr Erisa Danladi representing them while the Presidents of Nigeria Mining & Geosciences Society (NMGS) and the President National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) are representing extractive industries professional unions on the board.

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