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Buhari commits to transparency, accountability in extractive sector

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[FILES] President Muhammadu Buhari PHOTO: FACEBOOK/Femi Adesina

Says education remains govt’s top priority
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said the Federal Government would be committed to the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), stressing that the scheme would enable the country increase revenue from the oil, gas and mining sector.

The extractive sector, which is the country’s revenue backbone, is also a hotspot for corruption, especially illicit financial flow. Initiatives such as EITI were, therefore, introduced to reduce corruption and ensure that money from the sector benefits the masses. This, however, has not been the case in Nigeria.

Speaking during the inauguration of the board of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in Abuja, Buhari noted that implementation of the principles, objectives and standards of the initiative in Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining sectors remained sacrosanct.

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Represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Buhari said the tenets of EITI are in alignment with his administration’s agenda.

“The present administration is passionate about the EITI process because it serves two key agendas of this administration. First, the extractive industry is very strategic to Nigeria’s economy and hence central to my administration’s economic agenda. Secondly, transparency and accountability in the management of our natural resources is equally central to the anti-corruption agenda of this government. Nigeria is, therefore, irrevocably committed to the implementation of EITI in the oil, gas, and mining industries,” the President said.

Chairman of the board, Olusegun Adeyemi Adekunle, promised that the board would push the boundaries of transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s extractive industries.

The executive secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who is also a member and serves as secretary to the board, described the board as critical to the work of NEITI.

Buhari, meanwhile, has declared that improving the quality of education will continue to remain top priority in his administration.

He disclosed this in Daura, Katsina State, while receiving the proprietress, principal and students of a private school, Premier Pacesetters School, Daura, at his house.

The President gave assurances that more emphasis would be given to improvement of education. According to him, “We will allocate an increasing share of resources to improve learning in the country in our effort to reform the educational sector.”

The proprietress, Mrs. Celine Friday, conveyed the Sallah greetings of staff and students of the institution to the President and commended the special attention given to education by the Buhari administration.

She also used the opportunity to appeal for federal assistance to private schools in rural communities.

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