President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday urged the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to do more to support efforts by the Federal Government to stop the exportation of stolen crude oil from Nigeria.
The president made the request when the Chairperson of EITI, Ms. Claire Short, paid him a visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He called on EITI to join the Federal Government in working to ensure that refineries that received stolen crude oil from Nigeria were 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,” he said.
The president observed that Africa was losing a lot through leakages in the mining and extractive industry.
He urged Short and her colleagues at EITI to help to end the exploitation of Africans and African nations by multinational companies engaged in the extraction of the continent’s immense natural resources.
The president said that an expanded inter-ministerial committee would be inaugurated next week to ensure greater synergy in NEITI’s investigations.
He said that the committee would also facilitate the implementation of NEITI’s recommendations for greater probity in Nigeria’s oil industry.
Jonathan said that the inauguration of the committee was in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to giving the NEITI all necessary support and freedom to discharge its duties.
The president commended EITI’s efforts at discouraging exploitation and corruption in extractive industries across the world.
He assured Short and her team that Nigeria would continue to strive for even greater openness and transparency in its oil and mining sectors.
Short said that EITI had been making effort at ensuring that oil and other mineral resources of countries were well managed and utilised for the benefit of their citizens. (NAN)