Tinubu Restates Commitment To EITI Implementation, Inaugurates 6th NEITI NSWG

Members of the newly inaugurated NEITI NSWG

By Juliet Ukanwosu

President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday in Abuja during his inauguration of the newly constituted 15-member National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), also known as the Board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), reassured of Nigeria’s commitment to implementation of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Principles and Standards.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. George Akume, who also chairs the new NEITI Board, represented the president at the inauguration.

This is the 6th governing Board to be appointed for NEITI since Nigeria commenced the implementation of the global Initiative in 2004. By the NEITI Act 2007, the Chairman and Members have a four-year tenure and are on a part time basis, while the Executive Secretary has a five-year tenure and is on full time appointment.

Other members of the 15–member Board include the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), representing the Government; Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Ltd (NNPCL), representing the National Oil and Gas Company.

The Board also has a representative of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), Lagos Chamber of Commerce, and the President of Miners Association of Nigeria representing Extractive Companies respectively.

The civil society is represented by Dr. Erisa Danladi, while the Presidents of Nigeria Mining & Geosciences Society (NMGS) and the President National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) are representing extractive industries professional unions.

Former NEITI NSGW Chairman, Barr. Olusegun Adekunle; NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji; Civil Society representative on the NEITI NSWG, Dr. Erisa Danladi; Permanent Secretary General Services, OSGF, Dr. Maurice Nnamdi Mbaeri; and NNPC GCEO, Mr Mele Kyari during the Board inauguration in Abuja on Tuesday

Also on the board are six zonal representatives, they are Barr. Musa Abdullahi Lawan, representing North-West Zone; Abubakar Mu’azua, North-East Zone and Amb. Matthew Sunday Adoli representing the North-Central Zone. Others include Olasupo Abdel-Jeleel Taiwo, South-West; Chief Israel Ikechukwu Ikwuegbu, South-East and Dr. Stephen Leo Akpan, representing South-South zone.

Speaking through the SGF, President Tinubu stated that transparency in the extractive sector as well as prudent management of Nigeria’s resources, is central to his administration’s economic agenda and the anti-corruption policies of his government.

The president emphasised that his administration is passionate and remains fully committed to the global EITI, the work of NEITI and the visible impacts which the EITI process has achieved so far in Nigeria.

“Our faith in the EITI process is not just because it is central to our key government agendas, but also because, over the years, NEITI has demonstrated a high degree of competence, integrity and commitment to the values that the country requires to achieve economic growth and development in the sector through availability of reliable information and data required for national planning and reforms. NEITI has supported phenomenal revenue growth in the sector through meticulous application of EITI principles.” President Tinubu stated.

While stating that the national and global focus is on energy security, efficiency and justice in energy financing, renewables and control of emissions, the president added that “the work of NEITI is so important to our country and particularly this administration in helping us to define our country’s engagement strategy on the energy transition debate through consultations, constructive engagement driven by reliable information and data.”

President Tinubu who emphasized NEITI’s non-partisan nature, called on the NSWG members to conduct themselves according to the EITI Standards that defines the function of the NSWG, urging them to be focused on policy and oversight, and not to interfere with the day-to-day management of the NEITI secretariat.

The SGF, Sen George Akume inaugurating the 6th NEITI NSWG on behalf of President Tinubu

The civil society representative on the board, Dr. Erisa Danladi, who gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the new board, thanked the president for finding them worthy of the opportunity to serve.

Dr. Erisa assured of the board’s commitment to support NEITI to build on existing gains to ensure that Nigeria comes top among EITI implementing countries.

She also used the opportunity to convey the gratitude of the civil society constituency to the government for patiently allowing the civil society conclude its self-nomination process in line with the EITI Standards.

Meanwhile, the NSWG Chairman, Senator George Akume, who addressed the Board shortly after inauguration, noted that his appointment demonstrates the Federal Government’s prompt response to the recent EITI assessment of Nigeria, which among other observations stressed the urgent need to reconstitute NEITI’s Board to avoid sanctions.

He further stressed the need for the new NEITI Board to immediately take steps to address other outstanding issues raised by the EITI validation report, which the NEITI Secretariat has already prepared a detailed corrective action plan for the Board to consider.

“Nigeria scored 72 points in the last global Assessment and it is my hope that Nigeria will score 100 points at the next validation due in January 2026 under this Board and my Chairmanship,” Sen Akume said.

“We must support the ongoing independent audits of the industry, reforms in the oil and gas sector being driven by the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, the reforms in the solid minerals sector, the proposed amendments of the NEITI Act, pay attention to the debate on climate change, energy transition, beneficial ownership disclosures, domestic resource mobilization, contracts transparency implementation and EITI standards on Open Data,” the NEITI Board Chairman added.

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