ENVIRONMENT

NEITI Seeks Implementation Of Environmental Compliance Requirements In EITI Standards

By Gift Eguavoen

The Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor has offered to provide the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) with the institutional platform to implement the environmental compliance requirements in the EITI Standard.

Extractive 360 learnt that the platform requires providing easy access to available reports on environment impact assessments, existing policies and reports on environmental pollution as well as strategic direction on government’s action plan for the environment which will guide NEITI’s engagement on environment issues.

The offer was made by the federal government in Abuja at a meeting with the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji.

The Minister, who commended NEITI for its initiative to expand its operations to issues on environment at a time when environmental issues in the EITI Standard are yet to gain the desired attention, said it is a win – win for Nigeria as she invited NEITI to serve on its special inter-ministerial committee on the environment.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji in his remarks welcomed the emerging partnership and collaboration with the ministry of environment in the implementation of the environment compliance requirements in the EITI Standard.

Dr Orji explained that the partnership with the ministry of environment has become necessary as a result of the strong linkages between the environment, environment pollution, health hazards, mining and oil and gas explorations.

He added: “The decision of the global EITI, which Nigeria is a member of, to expand its mandate to environment is as a result of the devastating effect of environment degradation to the host communities of oil, gas and mining activities and the negative impact on health, living standards and poverty in the affected communities”.

Dr. Orji pointed out that the EITI which Nigeria is implementing has also identified the close link between environment abuses to security of lives and property in and around extractive industries host communities. He explained that NEITI is set to commission a comprehensive study on the impacts of mining on the environment and the implication on investment and revenue generation in the extractive sector.

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