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Ajumogobia says knowledge toolkit can improve extractive industry

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The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) has developed a toolkit to enhance the benefit of the extractive industry.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Abuja, a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Odien Ajumogobia, noted that the toolkit was initiated to ensure that current and future National Assembly sessions learn from the mistakes of the past, draw perspectives from more successful regions and chart an informed path for the extractive industry.

According to Ajumogobia, the toolkit recongnises the importance of a legislative framework for extractive industries. He added that if the toolkit is applied properly, it would help the ninth Assembly to arrive at the best legal frameworks for the industry.

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He said that the kit further highlights the contributions made by National Assemblies to improve Nigeria’s performance against global best practices, adding that it provides practical examples of how the legislators could enhance the benefits of resource extraction for Nigeria.

He added: “This toolkit is designed to improve the knowledge of existing legislators in general and those charged to govern within the relevant legislative committees, clerks, legislative aides and new entrants into the extractive industry legislature.”

“It provides an avenue to better understand the findings of the NNRC’s Benchmarking Exercise Report (BER)’s which reveal governance gaps in the extractive industry. It provides an understanding of the range of partnerships and collaborations with local and international actors in the industry available to foster improved governance of the sector.

“Laws and bills can be assessed using the methods within the toolkit for a better grasp of the pervasive issues and the available options for resolutions. We believe this toolkit comes at an opportune time as Nigeria resolves to consolidate its petroleum resource gains to diversify the economy amplifying the gains from solid minerals.”

Also speaking, Director-General of NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, explained that the guide does not only seek to build the capacity of legislators to understand the extractive sector but also outlines strategies that legislators can use to deepen oversight of the sector through mechanisms such as audits, oversight visits as well as corporate transparency and monitoring.

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