• Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

    CSOs elect new representative into NEITI Board


    Mar 8, 2023

    Civil society organisations working in the extractive sector of the country’s economy have elected their new representative into the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). 

    She is Dr. Mina Margaret Ogbanga, an Associate Professor and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI). 

    A final report by the committee mandated to organise the election released on Wednesday in Abuja said the new CSO representative on the NEITI Board emerged at the end of a keenly contested election process involving representatives of all CSOs in the country.

    Dr Ogbanga was declared the winner with 13 votes, or 52 percent of the total votes cast, to beat her closest rivals,                    Victoria Ibezim Ohaeri of Spaces 4 Change, who polled six votes, or 24 percent, and Emem Okon, the Founder and Executive Director, Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre, who received five votes, or 20 percent. The other two contestants – Celestine Okwudili Odo and Ibeh Nkem got one vote, or 4 percent and zero votes respectively.

    The Chairperson of the Election Committee who is also the Executive Director, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), Faith Nwadishi, who signed the report, said the need for a new CSO representative on the NEITI Board followed the resignation of the former representative, Peter Egbule early this year. 

    Nwadishi, who is also a former Nigerian CSO representative on the Board of the global EITI, said the resolution to organise an election to select the new CSO representative was taken on January 25, 2023 during an emergency meeting convened by NEITI to brief CSO partners following Mr Egbule’s resignation. 

    Following the resolution, Nwadishi said a committee was constituted to facilitate the election process. 

    Part of the resolution by CSO representatives at the meeting, which formed part of the guidelines for the election, she said, was that only individuals and organisations captured on the NEITI database of CSOs were legible to participate and vote  in the election.

    At the end of the meeting, she said a five-person committee she headed was constituted to organise and oversee the election. Other members included Tolutope Agunloye of BudgIT as Secretary; Yetunde Aladeitan, the National Technical Secretary, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria; Kabiru Garba, and 

    Ahmad Hashim, Executive Director, Millennium Development Centre, Gusau/Publish What You Pay (PWYP), Zamfara, as members. 

    The report said the Secretary of the Committee, Mr Agunloye later resigned his appointment, since he was no more on the staff of BudgIT. 

    To help coordinate the Committee’s assignment, the report said the committee activated a WhatsApp platform and opened an email address of all colleagues on the database of NEITI. 

    Also, the committee requested for the NEITI CSO database as well as the electronic record of the meeting proceedings to help define the mandate and guidelines for the election. 

    Details of the election process, the report said, showed that on February 1, 2023 the Committee issued the notice for nomination to the email of members captured on the NEITI CSO database, with a deadline of February 4, 2023 set for the close of nomination. 

    At the close of the exercise, the report said the committee received 35 responses and nine nominees for the position. 

    The nominees were Misbahu Kasim Isah, Kingsley Ozegbe, Victoria Ibezim Ohaeri, Ibeh Nkem Gloria, Mina Ogbanga, Celestine Okwudili Odo, Emem Okon, Aminu Mallum and Ifedolapo Lilly Ifelade. 

    Following the review of the curriculum vitae, profiles and statements of capacity of the nominees, the report said that two of the nominees (Kingsley Uche Ozegbe of Stakeholder Alliance for corporate Accountability and Misbahu Kasim Isah of Bauchi State Network of Civil Society Organizations (BASNEC) ) were disqualified for not meeting the criteria set by members.

    Again, the committee said it did not receive any response from Aminu Mallum and Ifedolapo Lilly Ifelade requesting them to submit their CVS and profiles.

    During the voting process held between  March 2 and 5, only five of the nine contestants stood for the elections.

    The name of the new CSO representative is expected to be submitted by the NEITI management to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

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