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April 18, 2024
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Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, NEITI Executive Secretary

NEITI lauds Chevron, Seplat for supporting EITI

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By Emmanuella Anokam

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has lauded Chevron Nigeria Limited’s voluntary willingness to sign on as a supporting company of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary, NEITI, while speaking with newsmen on Monday in Abuja said the Seplat Energy also offered to join the EITI as a result of NEITI’s activities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EITI is the global standard designed to promote good governance by enhancing transparency, public debate, open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.

The NEITI Act was enacted in 2007 to give the implementation of the Initiative in the country a legal backing. With this, Nigeria became the first country in global EITI to support the implementation.

Supporting the EITI enables companies to gain respect and investors’ confidence, demonstrate commitment to transparency and accountability, improve access to finance, strengthen social licence and reduce investment risk.

“Many oil and gas companies have given us enormous cooperation; in fact Chevron has informed us of its voluntary willingness to sign on as a supporting company of the EITI.

“Seplat has also offered to join the EITI as a result of the work we are doing. We have given them guidelines of what is required to be a member of the EITI both at the national and international level.

“If you are a member internationally you have to domesticate it by working closer with NEITI,” he said.

The executive secretary said it achieved a lot in 2023, adding that it went through hard process of EITI validation and came out with 72 per cent which earned the organisation a lot of attention due to its activities.

Orji said it was focused on improving on observations made during the validation which included deepening its engagement with the civil societies, oil and gas companies, human capacity development, strengthening internal processes and capabilities to EITI implementation.

“We have already started by injecting younger ones into our workforce but they require a lot of training while those in the management team and cadre staff need a lot of training.

“Then we strengthen out ethical conduct to practice what we preach,” he said.

He thanked the media for the quality engagement and support on its 2021 oil, gas and solid mineral reports as well as the fiscal allocation and statutory disbursement report.

“We equally published a lot of policy briefs and guidance notes to government, we find a lot of interest that we are able to do all these with your supports,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to the past and present administration for the support they gave to NEITI which necessitated its progress.

“As a transparency institution we are open to constructive, balance and fair criticism, advice and engagement.

“We are not enemies to government, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and companies, rather they are our partners. Government funds 99 per cent of our operations, government is our back backbone,” he said.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government towards implementation of EITI. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Rabiu Sani-Ali

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