Nigeria has been appointed to chair the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) global network on contract transparency.
By virtue of his position as the Executive Secretary of Nigeria EITI, Ogbonnaya Orji is to assume that position on Nigeria’s behalf.
The Country Manager of EITI for Anglophone Africa, Mike Uzoigwe disclosed on Saturday at the closing ceremony of a one week knowledge sharing sessions and retreat for management and NEITI staff in Abuja.
Uzoigwe said the EITI global network on Contract transparency was tasked with the specific responsibility of developing a global framework, standard and
tools of engagement on Contract Disclosures in the extractive industries to guide in the 54 member countries of EITI.
‘’The appointment of Nigeria to Chair the EITI global Network on
contract transparency is in recognition of the extensive work NEITI has done to enshrine contract disclosure as part of its rules of engagement with covered entities in Nigeria,” Uzoigwe said.
Orji noted that the appointment of Nigeria to lead the Global Network is an acknowledgement and recognition of the enormous work and leadership that Nigeria has shown towards the implementation of the EITI over the years.
The global network on contract transparency consists 2O EITI implementing countries, including Nigeria committed to the principles of contracts disclosures as part of the implementation of ths EITI process in their respective countries.
The countries include Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico, Armenia, Cameroun, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Malawi, Guinea, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Senegal, Sao Tome e’ Principe, Togo, Zambia and Tanzania.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji who said Nigeria has already accepted to play that role.
Orji said NEITI remained committed and in a hurry to deepen the implementation of EITI in Nigeria, improve revenue flows from the extractive sector into government coffers and improve
overall governance of the sector, to attract investments, create jobs and reduce poverty in the country’.
He said the knowledge sharing sessions/retreat on the theme’’
‘’Continuity and Consolidation: Linking NEITI Reports to Impact’’
was intended to expose the management and staff of NEITI to the current developments in the extractive sector, generate new
information and data required to develop a strategic plan, review the
steps being taken by the management to address identified gaps and make projections for the future”.
Orji said the focus of NEITI during his tenure would, be to link its reports to impacts, adding that
the retreat provided direction on how this could be achieved. He said Nigerians need to understand how NEITI’s interventions lead to improved revenues to government, better business environment for companies, improved quality of lives for citizens in the areas of access to education, jobs, health care, social infrastructure, security of lives and property.”
The EITI Country Manager for Anglophone Africa, Mike Uzoigwe informed participants that the EITI Secretariat was taking the issue of energy transition seriously, urging NEITI to lead the engagement and
discussions in the country with stakeholders.
Uzoigwe affirmed the readiness of the EITI to support the Nigerian government in this direction, pointing out that Nigeria remains the most elaborate EITI implementing country among 54 member countries through the work of NEITI.
The representative of the Civil Society and the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Rafsanjani, disclosed that through the interventions of NEITI, Nigeria has improved operations and governance of its extractive sector.
‘’If we can sustain this, most of the anomalies in the extractive sector will be reduced. Sometimes when NEITI speaks you will think the agency is a non-governmental organization. This has endeared the agency to the minds of most Nigerians’’, Rafsanjani said.
He urged the government to replicate the success story of NEITI
among other of its agencies, adding ‘It is possible for the government to replicate the success story of NEITI among all agencies in terms of efficiency and accountability.”
The representative of the NEITI-Companies Forum, Sani Shehu, commended NEITI management for organizing the retreat, urging that the concept of using in house-resource persons was creative and should not only be sustained, but the sessions held regularly.
He pledged the support of the NEITI-Companies Forum to NEITI in the discharge of its mandate.
Also in attendance at the closing ceremony were the former members of NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), Gbenga Onayiga and Kolawole Banwo who
represented the civil society on the NEITI Board as well as the chair of the civil society steering committee.
The programme was coordinated by the NEITI Director of Planning,
Policy and Strategy, Donald Tyoachimin.