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  • Updated: September 05, 2023

House Speaker Vows To Expand NEITI's Authority Using Legislation

House Speaker Vows To Expand NEITI's Authority Using Legisla

Dr Tajudeen Abbas, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has stated that the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) will be given broader statutory powers through legislative modifications to its Act.

The Act, according to the speaker, was designed to help NEITI carry out its mission of fostering openness and accountability in the extractive industry.

Abbas made the pledge on Monday in Abuja during the release of the NEITI 2021 Solid Minerals Industry Report, with the subject "Impact built on blocking leakages to grow revenue."

Abbas, represented by Dr. Awaji-Inombeth Abiante, Chairman, House Committee on Urban growth and National Planning, assured the NEITI of the support of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) in all NEITI initiatives aimed at sector growth.

“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.

According to Abbas, Nigeria's quest for openness and accountability in the governance of its enormous natural resources began in 2003, when the country voluntarily joined the global Extractive Industries openness Initiative (EITI).

He stated that Nigeria's participation in the EITI resulted in the establishment of the NEITI in 2004, as part of the wider government economic and institutional reforms under the then-National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS).

According to him, NEITI's annual report presentation, which provides fundamental information and data regarding the extractive industry in general, is in accordance with worldwide best practise and in accordance with the provisions of the 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.

In addition, Sen. Osita Ngwu, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, stated that the study would aid in the oversight function of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, and that the national assembly would work diligently to create enabling laws that meet global standards.

Gaza Gbefi, Chairman of the House Committee on Solid Minerals, encouraged NEITI to consider publishing a report on the real amount of solid minerals extracted and exported.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), NEITI has produced 12 cycles of independent reports in the solid minerals sector from 2007 to 2021, revealing a total revenue of N845.14 billion to the federal government.

2021 reports reveal that the Federal Government generated a total revenue of N193.59 billion from the solid minerals industry.

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