NEITI Tasked To Address Exploration Impact On Communities With Gender, Environmental Frameworks

Chairman of NEITI Board, Olusegun Adekunle, minister of finance, budget and national planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, Executive secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, during the launch of the gender and environmental reporting frameworks in Abuja on Tuesday

By Juliet Ukanwosu

The federal government has tasked the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to apply its newly launched gender and environmental reporting frameworks in resolving the lingering negative impact of oil, gas and mineral exploration in host communities.

The charge was given on Tuesday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, during the launch of the frameworks in Abuja.

Dr. Ahmed, while launching the frameworks told NEITI not to see them just for the purpose of meeting Nigeria’s obligation to the global EITI, but to also apply them in reducing the widening gender disparity in Nigeria’s extractive industries.

The minister, who was a former Executive Secretary of NEITI, used the opportunity to appeal to the incoming government to continue strengthening anti-corruption agencies and reform minded institutions like NEITI, considering the agency’s unique mandate locally and internationally.

“Through its regular oil, gas and mining audits, NEITI is well-positioned to guide and shape government policies in the energy sector and contribute to robust economic and public finance management in Nigeria,” the minister said.

She also called on the international EITI to always respect the sovereignty, peculiarities, contexts and diversities of each member state in the implementation of the global initiative in their respective countries, particularly during the validation exercise.

While commending NEITI’s Board and management for the prudency applied in the acquisition and remodeling of the NEITI permanent office, the minister expressed the hope that the agency will justify the government’s actions and investment by increasing its contributions to extractive sector governance.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, explained that the EITI require member countries to disclose environmental payments and encourage disclosure of information related to environmental impacts.

He added that implementing countries are also required to mainstream gender in all EITI processes, and disclose information and data related to gender parity, participation and employment in extractive industry.

He explained that to this end, the gender and environmental reporting frameworks being launched by NEITI were developed in line with global EITI Standards to guide Nigeria’s reporting, adding that it is consistent with national priorities as defined by NEITI’s strategic plan 2022-2026.

“NEITI believes that while disclosure of environmental impacts of extractive activities is important to impacted communities and stakeholders to facilitate accountability, it is also important to business for the purpose of good corporate governance and social license” Orji said.

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