By Etuka Sunday
Nigeria has been appointed the chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative global Network on Contract Transparency.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji is to chair the global initiative on behalf of Nigeria.
The Head, Communications and Advocacy, NEITI, Obiageli Onuorah in a statement said, the appointment was announced by the Country Manager of EITI for Anglo phone countries Dr Mike Uzoigwe at the closing ceremony of a week-long knowledge sharing sessions and retreat for management and staff of NEITI held in Abuja.
The EITI global network on Contract transparency is 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 that NEITI has done to enshrine Contract disclosure as part of its rules of engagement with covered entities in Nigeria.
“I am happy to inform you that Nigeria has accepted the role’’ Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji stated.
Dr. 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 is made of 2O EITI implementing countries including Nigeria. The countries are 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 explained that, “NEITI remains committed and is 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 added that the Knowledge Sharing sessions/retreat with 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”.
Dr. Orji stated that the focus of NEITI during his tenure is to link the NEITI reports to impacts adding that the retreat provided direction on how this can be achieved. “Nigerians need to understand how NEITI’s interventions lead to improved revenues to government, better profits, 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 countries, Dr. Mike Uzoigwe informed participants that the EITI Secretariat is taking the issue of energy transition seriously and urged NEITI to lead the engagement and discussions in the country with stakeholders.
Dr. 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 55 member countries through the work of NEITI.
Also speaking at the event, the representative of the Civil Society and the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, disclosed that through the interventions of NEITI, Nigeria has improved operations and governance of its extractive sector.