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Buhari inaugurates NEITI’s new board — after 17 months

Buhari inaugurates NEITI’s new board — after 17 months
July 22
14:23 2021

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated a 15-member National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), better known as governing board, for the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

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This is coming 17 months after the expiration of the last governing board chaired by Kayode Fayemi, the former minister of solid minerals.

Speaking at the ceremony in Abuja on Thursday, Buhari charged the board to preserve the noble virtues for which NEITI is known and be non-partisan and continue to dignified neutrality.

“NEITI is not just a local agency of government, but part of an international organisation. Hence it must be seen to comply with the principles of the international EITI,” he said.

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“Your mandate as the board of this organisation is to ensure effective EITI implementation in Nigeria by providing policy and strategic direction, guidance, monitoring and oversight to the EITI process in Nigeria.”

The president, represented by Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), reaffirmed Nigeria’s irrevocable commitment to implementing the principles, objectives, and standards of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in oil, gas and mining sectors.

According to him, Nigeria has witnessed phenomenal revenue growth from the oil, gas and solid minerals sector due to the meticulous implementation of the principles of the EITI by NEITI.

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He said NEITI has also initiated and driven most of the reforms witnessed in Nigeria’s extractive sector in the past seventeen years.

Buhari said the new board members have enormous responsibilities placed on their shoulders but expressed optimism that they will deliver on the EITI/NEITI mandate.

He urged them to consider their appointments as an opportunity to give back to Nigeria and contribute to the progress and development of the country’s extractive sector while building, consolidating and surpassing the achievements of previous boards.

Olusegun Adekunle, former permanent secretary, general services in the office of the SGF, will serve as the board’s chairman while Ogbonnaya Orji, executive secretary of NEITI, serves as the board’s secretary.

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Members of the board are Bashir Bature Gafai (north-west), Iliya Gashinbaki (north-east), Godwin Akor Ogwuche (north-central), Nze Joe Ibeh (south-east), Awowo Christian (south-south) and Damilola Olawuyi (south-west).

Other members of the 15-member NEITI board include the permanent secretary, ministry of mines and steel development; executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); and the group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The board also has a representative of the international oil companies (IOCs). The civil society organisations are represented by Peter Egbule while the presidents of Nigeria Mining & Geosciences Society (NMGS) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) are representing extractive industries professional unions on the Board.

This is the 5th governing board to be appointed for NEITI.

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By the NEITI Act 2007, the chairman and members have four-year tenure on a part-time basis, while the executive secretary has a five-year tenure and is on a full-time appointment.

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