The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has charged the newly inaugurated board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative to work towards increasing investments in Nigeria’s extractive sectors.
Buhari also charged the board to provide strategic direction for NEITI to channel similar attention it had shown in the oil and gas industry to the solid minerals sector to galvanise reforms in solid minerals development.
A statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the Head, Communications and Advocacy, NEITI, Obiageli Onuorah, stated that the president gave the charge in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, during a retreat for members of the board.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the president said, “The board of NEITI must articulate a new approach and seek productive collaborations where necessary to make Nigeria investment destination and dramatically increase the quantum of investments to the country.”
Buhari described as unacceptable a situation where only $3bn came to Nigeria out of the $75bn investment in the extractive industry that was attracted to sub-Saharan Africa.
He told the board that the work NEITI was doing strongly aligned with the vision of the administration to provide robust governance framework in the oil, gas and mining industries.
He reminded the board that their appointment was part-time and directed them to avoid acts capable of disrupting the day-to-day management of the agency.
Buhari also reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to use the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative to implement reforms and drive revenue growth.
Chairman of the board, Olusegun Adekunle, pledged the commitment of his team to push the boundaries of EITI implementation in Nigeria to achieve impactful results.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya-Orji, explained that the retreat was designed to expose members of the board to the methods, principles and benefits of EITI in Nigeria.
He said the exercise was also put together to build the capacity of the board to take up their leadership role with knowledge and competence.