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FG To Build Better Systems To Halt Mismanagement In Extractive Industry
19 Nov 2012

The Federal Government has pledged to build better systems and procedures that would strenghten the capacity of relevant government agencies and halt mismangement, inefficiency and lack of transparency in the extractive sector of the federation.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,  who stated this Monday at opening of the board retreat for members of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) held at the Le' Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, Nwaniba, noted that his administration was ready to actualise
transparent extractive sector, where the revenues are accounted for and used for the benefit of Nigerians.

Dr. Jonathan, who was represented by Akwa Ibom Governor, Chief Godswill O. Akpabio hinted that in the  weeks ahead, he would strengthen the Inter-Ministerial Task  Team (IMTT) by re-inaugurating it with senior government officials identified as a key to the reforms of the extractive sector in the country to implement the remedial
issues arising from the NEITI audit findings.

President Jonathan lauded the theme of the retreat "From Transparency to Accountability", refocusing the NEITI to move from its present position of enthroning transparency to recording measurable and visible impacts in the lives of Nigerians, adding ''I consider this theme very fundamental in the view of the importance of our natural
resources to the economic and social well-being of Nigerians''.

''In the days ahead, you would be brainstorming on how to make Nigeria's natural resources work for the people. It is my hope that you would arise from this retreat better informed about  focusing on the daunting task of contributing to the much needed reforms in our extractive sector. I urge you to initiate the process of extending the initiative to the states and local government councils to ensure a holistic reform of the sector", the President remarked.

He, therefore, called on stakeholders in the extractive sector especially the companies and government agencies to cooperate with NEITI  in the conduct of its audits as well as Nigerians and the international community to support Federal Government to pursue reforms to a logical conclusion.

The Chairman of the NEITI Board, Mr. Ledum Mitee said in order to endure that extractive resources aid development, it was necessary inject proposer doses of transperency into the management of the extractive industries that gave birth to Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), which is the underlying principle and embedded in the belief that transperency would naturally lead to citizens empowerment, accountability and inexorably the transformation of the resource curse to blessing.

Mr. Mitee then pointed out that in the days ahead, they would engage in fashioning out strategies and modalities to achieve the stated aim of the retreat, assuring that the NEITI board was poised to exploit every corner of its statutory responsibilities to achieve just that.

According to him,  the stakeholders were strengthened by the Federal Government's commitment towards the improvement and transparency in the extractive sector resource as well as effective management of public resources, amongst other benefits to improve the image of Nigeria at home and abroad.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI,  Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed that NEITI was enacted as a law in 2007 to ensure accountability and transperency, requires the gathering of findings in  all parts of the country, adding that the audits would be presented to National Assembly to ensure revenues are used for sustainable development and to eradicate poverty.

Mrs. Ahmed said that their presence in the state was to enthrone transperency, record measurable and visible impacts in the lives of every Nigerian and conduct an orbit in the oil and gas industry, appealing to the state Governors to implement the activities of NEITI at the state level.

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