Nigeria’s current challenges are avoidable – Osinbajo


Nigeria’s current challenges are avoidable – Osinbajo
By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
A critical pillar of the Buhari presidency is transparency, especially in the extractive industry, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo stated on Monday.
“It is important for us that we handle our resources with transparency and good governance,” he told a delegation of the global body-Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), at a meeting in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister of State for Budget & Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, who was the former Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), was also in attendance at the meeting.
“One of the objectives that we have set for ourselves is to ensure that we are transparent and able to handle our resources well”, the Acting President said, stressing that “if we (as a nation) had handled our resources better, with transparency, and good governance, we would not find ourselves where we are now.”
He said as a nation, “we have learnt our lesson,” declaring that going forward, the government will work transparently and generate more revenues.
He stated that as a government, the Buhari administration is determined to work with the Nigeria Extractive Industry and Transparency Initiative (NEITI) “to ensure good governance and look at how we can generate revenues and keep proper accounts.”
On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Prof. Osinbajo assured that government is working with the National Assembly to get the PIB passed into law, stating that “we want to see what will come out of the bill because this will give some regulatory direction and we are working very closely to get that done.”
Earlier, the in-coming global Chairman of EITI, Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt, a former Prime Minister of Sweden commended Nigeria’s commitment to the EITI process, saying he has been following  the restructuring of the NNPC, and other developments in the oil sector.
On the delegation were also the Acting Executive Secretary of the NEITI, Mr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji and the Deputy Head of the EITI global, Mr. Eddie Rich.
The Acting President also received delegations from Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) Class of 2015 and the Nigerian Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS) on Monday.
He told the delegation from the NILS that considering the extent of effort required to address the socio-economic impact of the insurgency in the Northeast, Nigerians with the required capacity should partner with different agencies of government to rehabilitate and rebuild the area.
“It would be useful to work with the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative to achieve some of its objectives,” he told the class led by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Dr. Okey Enelamah and Central Bank Deputy Governor, Mrs Sarah Alade.
While commending the class for its work, he said the group should go further and play a more active role beyond making a documentary submission.
Leader of the delegation, Dr. Okey Enelamah informed the Acting President about the proposed documentary project of the group, which focuses on the humanitarian crisis in the North East is a collective issue rather than government concern alone.
In his meeting with the NILS, Acting President Osinbajo expressed government readiness to support the work of the Institute, stating that the Institute plays a prominent role in the legislative arm of government.


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