Nigeria’s President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday urged the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to do more to support efforts by his government to stop the exportation of stolen crude oil from Nigeria.
A presidential press statement, obtained by PANA here Monday, said that President Jonathan was speaking at an audience with the Chairperson of EITI, Ms. Claire Short.
It quoted the president as calling on EITI to join the Federal Government in working to ensure that refineries that receive stolen crude oil from Nigeria are identified and punished.
“The efforts of EITI in criminalizing ‘blood diamonds’ from African mines have helped in curtailing that illegal business. I urge you to also support Nigeria as we confront the forces stealing Nigerian crude oil.
“The theft of crude oil from Nigeria involves the collusion of foreigners and the stolen crude is refined abroad. EITI can use its mechanisms to help us track down the thieves and those who receive the stolen crude oil,” the President told Ms. Short.
President Jonathan who observed that Africa was losing a lot through leakages in the mining and extractive industry, also urged Ms. Short and her colleagues at EITI to help in ending the exploitation of Africans and African nations by multinational companies engaged in the extraction of the continent’s immense natural resources.
He announced that in keeping with the Federal Government’s commitment to giving the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) all the necessary support and freedom to discharge its duties, he would inaugurate an expanded inter-ministerial committee next week to ensure greater synergy in NEITI’s investigations and facilitate the implementation of its recommendations for greater probity in Nigeria’s oil industry.
Commending EITI’s efforts to discourage exploitation and corruption in extractive industries across the world, President Jonathan assured Ms. Short and her team that Nigeria would continue to strive for even greater openness and transparency in its oil and mining sectors.
Earlier, Ms. Short, a former UK Secretary of State for International Development, briefed President Jonathan on EITI’s ongoing efforts to ensure that oil and other mineral resources of countries are well managed and utilized for the benefit of their citizens.
EITI is an international standard organization that ensures transparency around countries’ oil, gas and mineral resources.
It is developed and overseen by a coalition of governments, companies, civil society, investors and international organizations. All of these groups are represented on the EITI Board which is supported by the EITI International Secretariat.
The EITI Standard has a robust, yet flexible, methodology, which countries adopt to address the specific issues they are facing.
When implemented, EITI ensures more transparency in how the country’s natural resources are governed, and full disclosure of government revenues from its extractive sector.
The EITI International Secretariat is located in Oslo, Norway.