…Calls For Prudent Management of Extractive Revenues
In its drive and advocacy for prudent management of extractive revenues, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has sought a stronger and deeper partnership with the mining companies.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji disclosed this when a delegation from Miners Association of Nigeria led by its President paid a courtesy visit to NEITI House in Abuja recently.
According to Dr Orji “This meeting is very important to NEITI in view of our renewed hope and renewed commitment to deepen our engagement with Mining Companies considering the Federal Government’s attention to the solid minerals sector.
“We are passionate about our relationship with the Mining Companies because you define our scope of engagement with the solid mineral industry. You define the essence of the level of revenue generation in the industry, government take, companies profit, and the level of investments that can flow into the industry”. Dr Orji stated.
The Deputy Director/Head Communications & Stakeholder Management, Mrs. Obiageli Onuorah in a statement on Monday said, Dr. Orji explained that NEITI as an offshoot of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) stands shoulder to shoulder and in solidarity with the Companies which is the third leg in the EITI tripod of Government and Civil Society in no particular order.
The Executive Secretary while explaining the role of NEITI emphasized that “Our role in the engagement with the companies is to draw national and international attention on best ways to do business in the areas of transparency and accountability in order to provide profit for the companies in an accountable manner and provide revenues for government to be able to meet its obligations to the citizens through the provision of much-needed infrastructure that will support national development”.
He maintained that in implementing the EITI, it must be clear that when the business environment is characterized by acrimony, violence, insecurity, and conflicts, business opportunities will be limited. Therefore, when we provide enabling environment for businesses to thrive, both the host communities, states, country, and the companies that do business in the sector will be happy and fulfilled. That is why the EITI believes very strongly that on transparency and accountability, everyone gains and is a beneficiary.
The transparency boss explained that “When we do not have a fair, equitable, and accountable industry, violence is almost inevitable and these actions impede smooth business flow and interplay. NEITI’s role is to avoid all of this by ensuring that as Miners you are provided with the opportunities and enabling environment to carry out your business”.
The President, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) Mr. Dele Ayanleke commended NEITI for its consistent efforts in carrying out its mandate of ensuring transparency and accountability in the extractives industry. He affirmed that NEITI’s independent auditing and reporting on the solid minerals sector has been beneficial to members of his Association and has helped to highlight the sector’s revenue generation potential.
Mr. Ayanleke expressed concerns over interference by some State Governments which hinders the growth of the sector and sought NEITI’s support in advocating for stronger compliance from subnational entities with the legal and regulatory frameworks governing the solid minerals sector.
“The present state of State Governments interference, leading to the enactment of multiple regulations and creation of parallel structures to control the solid minerals sector is not only inimical to Constitutional provisions, but akin to resource control which might throw spanners into all the past efforts at growing the sector to fulfil its envisaged mandates.
“We seek the support of NEITI to join the advocacy for the sub-national entities to respect constitutional provisions and all extant legal and regulatory frameworks governing the solid mineral sector” Mr Ayanleke appealed.
“The advocacy visit to the NEITI House has opened a new chapter in NEITI’s relationship with the Mining Companies and the visit is part of Dr. Orji’s efforts aimed at re-building trust and confidence among stakeholders towards the NEITI process and its standards.
“The visit is coming at a time when NEITI in collaboration with the Companies is planning an enlarged meeting of the NEITI-Companies Forum slated for Lagos this week”, the statement said.