FG Appoints Sen. Akume As New Chairman Of NEITI NSWG’s Board

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the re-constitution of 15-member board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’s (NEITI’s) National Stakeholders’ Working Group (NSWG).

The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who gave this hint during a media chat on Wednesday, said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. George Akume, was appointed as the chairman of the board (NSWG).

Other members of the new NEITI’s NSWG  board include the executive chairman, FIRS, Dr. Zacch Adedeji, representing government, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd, Mallam Mele Kyari, representing companies, as well as Mr Oghene Gwueke Ajafia, representing Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), Lagos Chamber of Commerce.

Also, the president of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dele Ayanleke; Engr. (Mrs) Nkechi Isigwe, representing Women/ Geoscientist, as well as representative of Extractive Industries expert; and President of NUPENG, Comrade Willians Akporeha, were also appointed into the board.

Orji said that members representing the six geopolitical zones in the NEITI NSWG’s board comprised Barr. Musa Abdullahi Lawan, (North-West); Mr Abubakar Mu’azu, (North-East); Amb. Mathew Sunday Adoli (North Central); Olasupo, Abdel –Jeleel Taiwo Adekunle, (South-West); Chief Israel Ikechukwu Ikwuegbu, (South East); and Dr. Stephen Leo Akpan, (South-South).

He explained that the appointment of Senator Akume as the chairman of new NEITI board demonstrated that government had the highest commitment to NEITI, adding that the development is also an advantage for NEITI, since the agency now has better access to the president.

Orji also hinted that the NEITI Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) had been reconstituted after about seven years, adding that the task team will be inaugurated on May 13 this year with high-ranking officers of not less than a Director as part of the team.

According to him, the team comprises key government agencies, including the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Revenue Mobilization, Allocation & Fiscal Commission (RMFAC), and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Others include, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF), Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mining Cadastre Office, among others.

He explained that the IMTT was saddled with the responsibility of implementing recommendations and findings of the NEITI’s industry reports and deepen government oversight and reforms in the extractive sector, adding that the IMTT program also aims to increase integrity and transparency within regulatory agencies and operators in the extractive industries.

Orji also disclosed that NEITI was set to host the maiden edition of the NEITI House Dialogue, a quarterly policy engagement series starting from April 29 that would host notable policymakers who will address policy issues and reforms in the extractive sector.

He expatiated: “A draft remediation plan is being developed for implementation in line with NEITI’s mission and strategic plan which is to institutionalize accountability mechanisms and processes to instill a culture of transparency and participation in Nigeria’s extractive sector for the benefit of all.

“Work on the NEITI Data Centre has also commenced and the expected completion date is August 2024. The data center when completed will serve as a repository of information and data on extractive and natural resource governance”, he added.

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