The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has called for closer collaboration and partnership with the civil society, oil, gas and mining companies towards the implementation of ongoing reforms in the extractive industry in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, made the call in Abuja at separate consultative meetings with leading Civil Society Organizations and a forum of oil, gas and mining companies in Nigeria’s extractive sector.
Orji, in his meeting, with the extractive companies stated that the new approach by NEITI is to work with the government, companies and CSOs to rebuild trust urgently required to promote inflow of Foreign Direct Investments into the oil, gas and mining sectors through the NEITI/EITI process.
Expressing regrets over the complaints by oil companies that out of over $75 billion investments that came into sub Saharan Africa in the last few years, only $3 billion came to Nigeria. Dr Orji said, “It is time for us to re-unite to address poor investments in the industry and I see my appointment as NEITI Executive Secretary as the instrument of that unification.
At the meeting organised by the oil trade section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Executive Secretary assured the companies that under his leadership, NEITI will be a pillar of trust, partnership and collaboration, and will work with the companies and relevant government agencies to address the growing concerns over multiple and proliferation of levies and taxation.
He stated that NEITI will evaluate the roles of its strategic partners, device new approaches to achieve results, create opportunities and extend the frontiers of transparency and accountability by responding adequately to the emerging issues in the EITI, thereby improve the business climate and strengthen revenue contribution of the extractive industries.
While addressing the civil society, Dr Orji noted that NEITI under his leadership will work with development partners to enhance the capacity of the civil society to respond adequately to unfolding challenges associated with driving the reforms in the extractive industry in Nigeria.
He further announced the formation of a civil society congress, where robust debates and constructive dialogues will be held from time to time under NEITI- covered entities and donors’ collaboration.
Chair of the Companies Forum, Mr. Bunmi Toyobo urged NEITI to within the boundaries allowed by its mandate, support the growth and investment drive in the industry, while lamenting the huge burden and expectations on the extractive sector in Nigeria even in the face of dwindling production capacities and lack of competitiveness of the Nigerian extractive investment corridor as well as the uncertainty surrounding the future of fossil fuels.