During the reception of a delegation from EITI, led by Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), in Abuja on Wednesday, Alake revealed this development.
Alake conveyed the Federal Government's dedication to collaborating with EITI and NEITI to propel economic advancements in the solid minerals sector.
He emphasized the government's determination to reposition the solid minerals sector, aiming to enhance Nigeria's revenue profile and generate employment opportunities for the vast population of unemployed youths.
“The new administration is determined to reform the mining sector to overtake oil and gas in revenue generation, investment interests, and as an alternative domestic resource mobilisation base, job creation, and poverty reduction options,” he said.
He said the ministry’s improved operations and drive for reforms were premised on its robust engagements with NEITI since 2011.
He stressed the importance of reliable information and data, good governance, transparency, and accountability needed in driving the sector, which EITI advocated for globally.
According to him, the principles are being applied in the plans and policies of President Bola Tinubu to reform the mining sector.
“Working with NEITI over the years has been quite impactful in the areas of revenue generation and driving evidence-based reforms.
“NEITI, therefore, remains one of our dependable allies and partners in data generation, data analysis, and utilisation as a key tool in national planning and development,” he said.
He assured the delegation of looking into the recommendations of NEITI in its 2021 report and the line of action needed for its implementation, aimed at strengthening its operations.
“I can assure you that efforts are ongoing to fast-track the report, work on the weaknesses to strengthen our operations, and stimulate growth and regulations in the sector,” he said.
He said the ranking of Nigeria at 72 per cent (moderate) in the EITI assessment covering 2019 to 2022 was an indication that the reports are credible and globally acknowledged to be comprehensive.
“But more importantly, the data and information provided by NEITI fit into the economic agenda of the Federal Government and align with our national priorities,” he said.