15 June 2015, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to hold meetings on his intended reforms in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector with visiting Chairperson of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Clare Short, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has disclosed
NEITI, in a statement issued Sunday by its Director of Communication, Orji Ogbonanya Orji, said Short, who is billed to arrive in Nigeria today on a three-day working visit, would meet with Buhari to hold discussions on several of the challenges holding back extensive enactment of EITI principles in Nigeria’s extractive sectors.
While in Nigeria, EITI’s the international chair will hold consultations with Buhari on the implementation of the independent reports of NEITI as well as his proposed reforms in the oil and gas sector, and other mining sectors of the country.
NEITI added that Buhari’s meeting with Short was expected to provide her a good platform to brief him (Buhari) on the importance of integrating the EITI principles in his economic policy agenda as obtainable in resource rich countries of the developed world.
It explained that stakeholders in the development sector consider the meeting of Buhari with Short as a global endorsement of his declared commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability which are consistent with the principles professed by the EITI.
Buhari had reportedly listed the implementation of the findings and recommendations of NEITI’s audit reports on operations within Nigeria’s extractive sector as a priority for his administration in his first 100 days in office.
NEITI, through its audit reports, has publicly disclosed several cases of mismanagement, under-payment of taxes and royalties, under-assessment of operational processes as well as other lapses, thus costing the federation billions of dollars in revenue losses.
NEITI, in the statement, however stated that the findings and recommendations of its audit reports over the years had suffered from the absence of a strong political will to implement them.
The statement further noted that Short is at the head of a delegation of a special implementation committee set up by EITI and drawn from 50 member countries.
She will also observe a meeting of the Inter-ministerial Task Team (IMTT) set up by the federal government to implement the findings and recommendations contained in the NEITI audit reports within the duration of her visit.
Nigeria joined EITI in 2003 and subsequently began implementation of its principles almost as soon as it established NEITI in 2004.
Nigeria also became the first among the 50 member countries of EITI to support the implementation of the principles with a law, the NEITI Act of 2007.
Countries that are signed on to EITI include Britain, France, Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, Norway, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Peru, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Liberia and many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
EITI, as a world body, is committed to enthroning transparency, accountability and prudent management of revenues from oil, gas and other mineral resources mining to support even development and reduce poverty in resource rich countries like Nigeria.
Short was, before taking up the chair of EITI, a member of the British House of Commons for 30 years, where she served the British government as Minister for Women Affairs, Secretary for Transport and later Secretary of State for International Development.
– This Day