Dr Tajudeen Abbas, Speaker, House of Representatives says it will equip the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) with stronger statutory powers, through legislative amendments of its Act.
The speaker said the Act was geared towards enabling NEITI to carry out its task of ensuring transparency and accountability in the extractive industry
Abbas gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja at the unveiling of NEITI 2021 Solid Minerals Industry Report with its theme as “Impact built on blocking leakages to grow revenue’’.
Abbas, represented by Dr Awaji-Inombeth Abiante, Chairman, House Committee on Urban Development and National Planning assured of the support of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) in all NEITI’s undertakings geared towards sector’s development.
“The House of Representatives will also play its part in ensuring the implementation of NEITI’s Report, in line with the relevant provisions of NEITI Act.
“The House will ensure that the solid minerals report is laid on the floor of the House and debated extensively to ensure the implementation of the recommendations made therein.
“Working together, we will ensure the realisation of government’s desire for diversification of the economy for the attainment of alternative source(s) of revenue and clean energy,’’ he said.
Abbas said Nigeria’s search for transparency and accountability in the governance of her abundant natural resources was directly linked to 2003 when the country voluntarily signed up to the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
He said Nigeria’s signing up to the EITI led to the establishment of NEITI in 2004 as part of the overall government economic and institutional reforms under the then National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS).
According to him, NEITI’s annual presentation of reports which gives basic information and data about the extractive industry generally, is in line with global best practice and in conformity with the provisions of NEITI Act, 2007.
“I must place on record my commendation of the leadership of NEITI, headed by Dr. Orji Ogbonanya Orji for sustaining the practice of annual reporting of the activities transacted within the industry from time to time.
“This year’s report which is the 12th edition since the inception of NEITI is coming at a time when the government is in search for workable solutions which will enhance the economic fortunes of Nigeria and increase her revenue generation for multi-sectoral development.
“The Dr Orji’s leadership is also worthy of commendation for its role in leading the fight for reforms in the extractive industry. Your quest for the full implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and monitoring of same is worthy of commendation.
“The present leadership of NEITI has raised the bar in the fight for transparency and accountability in the extractive industry.
“Working together, we will ensure that the PIA is fully implemented to create the needed boom in the Downstream and Upstream sectors to bring about more foreign investments, improved local production and increased revenue for our nation,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Sen. Osita Ngwu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid Minerals said the report would help in its oversight function adding that the national assembly would work assiduously to enact enabling laws with global standard.
Mr Gaza Gbefi, House Committee Chairman on Solid Minerals urged NEITI to also consider releasing a report to determine actual amount of solid minerals extracted and exported.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over the years NEITI has published 12 cycles of independent reports in the solid minerals covering years 2007 to 2021 which disclosed total revenue of N845.14 billion to the federal government.
The 2021 reports recorded total revenue generation of N193.59 billion from the solid minerals sector by the Federal Government.