The Chairman, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Ledum Mitee has commended the Liberian EITI on the inclusion of some of the progressive provisions in the area of Contract Transparency in the LEITI Act. Ledum Mitee made this remark at NEITI Secretariat while receiving a delegation of Liberia EITI led by its national coordinator Mr Samson Tokpah, on a study tour of Nigeria.He noted that some of the very progressive provisions of the LEITI Act, especially in the area of Contract Transparency, amongst others, would assist the Civil Society groups and other stakeholders in Nigeria when the review of the NEITI Act 2007 commences.
The NEITI Chair said that “both countries share a lot in common and it is therefore of little surprise that developments in the EITI implementation in both countries have shown remarkable similarities”, noting that both countries have a law backing the initiative. Whilst our former President Olusegun Obasanjo signed the NEITI Act on May 28, 2007 after the National Assembly passed it, the House of Representatives in Liberia passed the LEITI Act on May 28, 2009 (the Senate on June 11, 2009, and was eventually signed into law on July 10, 2009).Both Liberia and Nigeria have also won the prestigious EITI best implementing country award.
Mr Samson Tokpah, Head of the EITI in Liberia and leader of the delegation declared that the rational for the visit was to share ideas, experiences and strengthen the relationship with a view to enhancing EITI implementation in both countries.He declared that inspite of the successes recorded by Liberia in EITI implementation,especially in Mining,Forestry and Fisheries,it had alot to learn from NIgeria.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI Mrs Zainab Ahmed disclosed that many EITI implementing countries are interested in understudying NEITI because of the independent nature of its reports, openness, passion for integrity, professionalism, and good business ethics built on accountability.
She also disclosed that the NEITI Act of 2007 gives NEITI the power to make regulations through which it could impose sanctions on erring companies covered in the NEITI oil, gas and solid minerals audit. The regulations will guide NEITI on how to impose sanctions.
While in Nigeria the LEITI delegation will be meeting with the Civil Society groups and the media. The delegation is also sheduled to understudy the NEITI Solid Minerals reconciliation process and undertake an indepth review and mapping of NEITI audit production process.The delegation is scheduled to visit some mining sites and oil companies in Nigeria.