By Palma Ileye
Federal Government through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has reiterated its commitment to work closely with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, in advancing transparent, accountable resource and governance programmes in the Solid Minerals sector.
This assurance according to the Ministry’s press release was given by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Oladele Alake during the visit of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, delegation to the Ministry.
Alake explained that the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has had fruitful and robust engagements with the NEITI since 2011 which had impacted positively on its operations and determination to reform the sector.
To this end, the Minister affirmed the ethos and principles of reliable information and data, strict adherence to good governance; transparency and accountability which EITI promotes globally.
These principles, according him were being deliberately applied in the plans and policies of the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reform the mining sector.
He said: “The new administration is more than determined to reform our country’s mining sector to overtake oil and gas in revenue generation, investment interests and as an alternative domestic resource mobilisation base, job creation and poverty reduction options.
“Working with NEITI over the years has been quite impactful in the areas of revenue generation and in driving evidence – based reforms . NEITI therefore remains one of our dependable allies and partner in data generation, data analysis and utilisation as a key tool in national planning and development.”
Speaking on the NEITI’s last report for 2021, Alake informed the visitors that the Ministry has noted the recommendations and actions required to address and implement them; stressing that, “I can assure you efforts are ongoing to fast track the report, work on the weaknesses to strengthen our operations, stimulate growth and regulations of the sector. As partners in progress, we shall have areas of more.”
Continuing, the Minister acknowledged the overall score of 72 percent accorded the Ministry by the global EITI assessment refered to as validation.
“This indicator is gratifying to the government as it shows that information and data from NEITI reports are credible and globally acknowledged to be comprehensive, but more importantly that the data and information by NEITI feeds into the Federal Government economic agenda and alligns with our national priorities,” he emphatically stated.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji said the EITI delegation came to brief the Ministry on areas of support that will strengthen its operations, especially with regards to agencies under the Ministry.
Commenting on the extent of Nigeria’s implementation of objectives of EITI, Mr Bady Baldi (Member of delegation) commended the milestone achievements of the country for establishing electronic Cadastre system that facilitates disclosure of data, beneficial ownership data as well as policies of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development that ensures transparency and accountability in the sector.