On 18 March 2008, NEITI gave a two-week deadline to all oil companies covered by the 2005 Audit of the petroleum sector to complete and return the audit templates issued to them by the Hart Group, NEITI’s independent auditors.

While many companies are fully cooperating with the auditors, some are not, thereby slowing down the process for the 2005 Audits.

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After three days of deep reflection on its mandate, the recently constituted board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) emerged from a Strategy Retreat with a commitment to tactical initiatives tailored towards improving the welfare of Nigerians.

“NEITI will be dedicated to ensuring that revenues from the extractive sector translate to roads, water, hospitals, schools, and electricity for all Nigerians,” said Professor Assisi Asobie, the NEITI Chairperson. “This is not only the expectations of most Nigerians, it is also the only way we can add real value.”

“Recharged with this retreat, I think we are better prepared to act fast and make real impact,” added Professor Asobie at the end of the retreat, which was held from 13 to 15 March 2008 at the Mirage Hotel, Calabar, Cross River State with the support of the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

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The NEITI Act will be faithfully implemented, Professor Assisi Asobie, chairperson of the newly inaugurated governing board of NEITI, has pledged.

Professor Asobie made this pledge in his address at the inauguration of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) at the Presidential Villa on 29 January 2008.

The NEITI Act, which was signed into law on 28 May 2007, stipulates the objectives and functions of NEITI, its modus operandi, as well as sanctions against government agencies and extractive companies that contravene its provisions.

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President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has inaugurated the reconstituted National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), which is the governing body of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

The inauguration of the 15-member board took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on 29 January 2008 and was witnessed by senior government officials, including four cabinet ministers and a state governor.

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President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on 22 January 2008 reconstituted the National Stakeholders’ Working Group, which is the governing board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). The 15- member board will be headed by Professor Assisi Asobie, according to a press release from the Presidency.

Asobie, a retired university don, was part of the pioneer NSWG and is one of the four re-appointed members. He is a renowned transparency campaigner and member of the board of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

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Significant progress has been recorded in fixing some of the petroleum sector lapses that were identified by the first comprehensive audit of the industry, which was commissioned by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

“Major issues raised by the first NEITI Audits are being tackled comprehensively and conclusively,” said Dr. Siyan Malomo, chairman of NEITI. “We are moving beyond just publishing the audit reports to fixing the problems. We can now point to tangible fruits of the post-audit phase.”

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The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative law thatwas recently signed into law has been described as the catalyst that would right the wrongs that have taking place in the Niger Delta and other areas of Nigeria where there are active mining activities

Efe Dike of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi made the prediction in a paper titled’ NEITI, Extractive Sector and the Environment’ presented at a road-show organised for the North- East region of the country in Bauchi.

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