The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has been commended for setting and sustaining high transparency and accountability standards in the country’s oil, gas and mining sectors.
The commendation came from the Executive Secretary of the Solid Mineral Development Fund (SMDF), Mrs. Fatima Shinkafi who led her management team on a courtesy visit to the NEITI Secretariat recently in Abuja.
“NEITI operates like an international organization, and has distinguished itself among federal government agencies by setting high targets and standards for transparency and accountability in the extractive industries”, Shinkafi stated.
SMDF boss noted that her decision to visit NEITI and explore possible areas collaboration was on the account of the enormous and commendable works the agency has done in the extractive industries over the years.
Mrs. Shinkafi said the SMDF its management will love to be associated with the kind of work that NEITI does, saying: “the Fund is willing and ready to submit its operations to NEITI’s standards, principles and process”.
She further noted that: “partnering with NEITI, will no doubt improve performances and accountability profile of SMDF and help in boosting the agency’s recognition among investors and other critical stakeholders in the mining sector”.
Earlier in his remarks, NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Waziri Adio noted that his agency and SMDF are natural allies since the mandates of both agencies are essentially about maximizing potentials in the mining sector for the benefits of Nigeria and her citizens.
“NEITI is open to partner with SMDF, particularly on transparent and efficient management of Natural Resource Development Fund”, Adio stated, noting that the Fund is targeted at diversifying Nigerian economy and reduces her dependence on oil sector.
Mr. Adio expressed concern that from previous Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement (FASD) audit conducted by NEITI, Natural Resource Development Fund was used for purposes other than the objectives of the Fund.
The Executive Secretary advised his visitor to always take keen interest in the various reports by NEITI, noting the agency’s reports usually outlines major issues in the sector that should be of interest and concerns to the SMDF.
Solid Mineral Development Fund (SMDF) is set-up by the Mining Act of 2007, the agency is meant to be private sector-driven with government oversight under the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. Its mandate is to provide support to the mining sector in the areas of geo-scientific data, capacity building and infrastructural development.