23rd July, 2021
By Okon Okon
The Federal Government has inaugurated the governing board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to enhance the smooth running of its administration.
Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who performed the inauguration on Thursday in Abuja, congratulated the members, saying their appointment as NEITI board members was based on individual merits and track records.
Members of the board are Bashir Bature Gafai (North-West), Iliya Gashinbaki (north-east), Godwin Akor Ogwuche (north-central), Nze Joe Ibeh (south-east), Awowo Christian (south-south) and Damilola Olawuyi (south-west).
Other members are the permanent secretary, ministry of mines and steel development; executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); and the group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The board also has a representative of the international oil companies (IOCs).
The civil society organisations are represented by Peter Egbule while the presidents of Nigeria Mining & Geosciences Society (NMGS) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) are representing extractive industries professional unions on the Board
Mustapha told the new board members: “Your appointment and inauguration, which is taking place here today is another practical demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of our economic resources”.
Mustapha said that the present administration was passionate about the NEITI process because it served two key agenda of the administration.
He said that the extractive industry was very strategic to Nigeria’s economy, hence central to the administration’s economic agenda.
According to Mustapha, the transparency and accountability in the management of nation’s resources is equally central to the anti-corruption agenda of Nigeria.
He said it was therefore, irrevocably committed to the implementation of NEITI in the oil, gas, and mining industries.
The SGF, therefore, tasked NEITI board members to ensure that the agency continued to preserve the virtues for the benefit of the present and for future generations of Nigeria.
“In order to achieve this, I must remind you that your assignment is non-partisan because NEITT itself is non-political and has maintained dignified neutrality all through almost two decades of existence.
“It is also necessary for me to stress that your appointment is a part-time one. You are therefore advised to conduct yourselves in accordance with this requirement, ” he said.
Responding, Mr Olusegun Adekunle, a retired Permanent Secretary, office of the SGF, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for considering them worthy for the appointment.
Adekunle assured that the board would not disappoint the president in the course of carrying out its assigned duties.
The retired permanent secretary said his appointment alongside other board members was another opportunity to serve Nigeria in another capacity.
“Let me also congratulate my colleagues on the board for this wonderful opportunity to serve our nation in a different capacity.
“I must say that the confidence reposed in us is huge but our commitment to this assignment is also strong; we shall therefore, work as a team with focus and with integrity, ” Adekunle said.