Continue with dignified neutrality, Buhari charges newly inaugurated NEITI Board

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the newly inaugurated 15-member National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), for the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to preserve the noble virtues for which NEITI is known by being non-partisan and continue with dignified neutrality.

The NSWG, also known as the Governing Board, was inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who stood in for the President in Abuja Thursday. The new board, the fifth so far, is coming 17 months after the expiration of the last one chaired by the former Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi. The President said: “NEITI is not just a local agency of government, but part of an international organisation. Hence it must be seen to comply with the principles of the international EITI. “Your mandate as the board of this organisation is to ensure effective EITI implementation in Nigeria by providing policy and strategic direction, guidance, monitoring and oversight to the EITI process in Nigeria.”

The President reaffirmed Nigeria’s irrevocable commitment to implementing the principles, objectives, and standards of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in oil, gas and mining sectors. According to him, Nigeria has witnessed phenomenal revenue growth from the oil, gas and solid minerals sector due to the meticulous implementation of the principles of the EITI by NEITI.

He said NEITI has also initiated and driven most of the reforms witnessed in Nigeria’s extractive sector in the past seventeen years. Noting that the newly inaugurated NEITI board members have enormous responsibilities placed on their shoulders, the President urged them to consider their appointments as an opportunity to give back to Nigeria and contribute to the progress and development of the country’s extractive sector while building, consolidating and surpassing the achievements of previous boards. Olusegun Adekunle, former Permanent Secretary, General Services in the office of the SGF, will serve as the board’s Chairman while Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of NEITI, serves as the board’s secretary.

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