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Why govt places emphasis on transparency, by Osinbajo

By Mohammed Abubakar Collins Olayinka, Abuja   |   09 February 2016   |   2:51 am
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• Nigeria risks suspension from EITI over late release of rep

VICE President, Yemi Osinbajo yesterday declared that the Buhari administration places great emphasis on transparency and accountability, especially in the extractive industry.

He made the declaration, while granting audience to a delegation from the global body, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, (EITI) led by its new President, Mr. Fredrick Reinfeldt who paid him a visit at the State House.

Meanwhile, Nigeria risks suspension from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) following the failure of Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), to release its 2013 oil and gas audit report.

The Federal Government’s dissolution of the NEITI board stalled the release of the report, which has been ready since December 31, 2015.

The board must give its approval before the report is made public.

In another development, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, yesterday said the National Assembly would soon begin work on its own version of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Speaking while receiving the international board of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) at the National Assembly, Dogara said the resolve was in line with the need to reform the nation’s oil and gas sector of the economy.

A statement from the media office of the vice president quoted Osinbajo as saying: “It is important for us that we handle our resources with transparency and good governance.”

Minister of State for Budget and Planning who was the former Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, (NEITI) Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed was also in attendance.

He stated that as a government, the Buhari administration was determined to work with the Nigeria Extractive Industry and Transparency Initiative (NEITI) “to ensure good governance and look at how we can generate revenues and keep proper accounts.”

Earlier, Reinfeldt, a former Prime Minister of Sweden commended Nigeria’s commitment to the EITI process, saying he has been following the restructuring of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other developments in the oil sector.

The EITI international board is scheduled to meet in Lima, Peru on February 22 where Nigeria’s case may likely be discussed.

The new EITI board headed by Reinfeldt would be taking over the organization from Clare Short, who has competed her two-year tenure.

EITI said Nigeria was in breach of its rules and standards after failing to publish the reports on December 31, 2015.




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