The Federal Government on Tuesday launched Gender and Environmental Reporting Frameworks in Extractive Industries to meet Nigeria’s reporting obligation to the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed unveiled the frameworks in Abuja during her visit to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) permanent office.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the frameworks were developed by NEITI in line with global EITI requirements and standards to resolve lingering issues and enhance reporting in areas of gender and environment in the oil, gas, and mining sectors.
She said the frameworks would help in resolving the lingering negative impact of oil, gas, and mineral exploration in host communities, and reduce widening gender disparity in extractive industries.
The minister, who served as NEITI’s Executive Secretary before being appointed in 2015 as a member of the cabinet, lauded NEITI’s management’s achievements, adding that the frameworks represented another milestone recorded by NEITI.
She commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to strengthening Nigeria’s EITI as evident in the government’s prioritization of NEITI in allocating resources to enable the agency to execute its role in the industry.
“From its initial mandate to disclose extractive output and revenue, to data mainstreaming, contracts and beneficial ownership disclosure and currently, gender and environmental reporting and energy transition, I have been part of the process,” she said.
Ahmed appealed to the incoming administration to strengthen anti-corruption agencies and reform-minded institutions like NEITI in its economic policy agenda considering the agency’s unique national and international mandates.
“Through its regular oil, gas, and mining audits, and publications of timely policy papers, NEITI is well-positioned to guide and shape government policies in the energy sector and contribute to robust economic and public finance management in Nigeria,’.
Earlier, Mr. Olusegun Adeyemi, Chairman of the National Stakeholders’ Working Group (The Board) of NEITI), said the frameworks would guide stakeholders to disclose data and information on environment payments in the extractive industry.
He said it would guide stakeholders on impacts, monitoring, and management as well as information disclosure on gender parity, participation, and employment in the industry.
“I assure our stakeholders and all Nigerians that NEITI’s board under my leadership is strongly committed to the issues of environmental and gender justice in our oil, gas, and mining sector. And will continue to provide strategic direction to NEITI’s secretariat,” he said.
Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of NEITI, said the frameworks were direct responses to its readiness to move into issues of Gender and the environment in view of the strong linkage to the EITI’s desired impact in the lives of citizens.
“Host communities in the country currently face complex challenges of environmental degradation. In these host communities, the girl child, women and children suffer the most environmental degradation in terms of deprivation of their livelihood, access to farming, and petty trading.
“In most of these communities, most of the rural dwellers are women and children. They suffer the worst health challenges arising from emissions and environmental pollution. The two frameworks center on these issues.
“On the gender framework, the report summarises the EITI’s agenda on gender inclusion to the key operational concepts of representation, participation, influence, and impact giving consideration to gender inclusion.
“On the environment, NEITI benchmarked the EITI 2019 Standard on environmental reporting requirements against the environmental governance in the Nigerian extractive industries,” he said.
According to him, it will build strong alliances with government agencies such as the Ministry of Women Affairs, the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), and women’s professional platforms to enhance women’s participation in the mining and protect their rights, especially in the extractive host communities.
Other areas covered by the framework include disclosures of environmental issues and measures to mitigate and minimize negative impacts.