NEITI CAN DO BETTER WITH CSOs, CITIZENS’ SUPPORT – EXEC. SECRETARY
The Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has been identified as a veritable instrument for human development. To this end, the body has advocated for collaboration and support to meet this purpose.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr Adio Waziri made this remark when he received in audience a delegation from the Alone (Alone), which paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja. Mr Adio stated that the bulk of the problem of Nigeria does not lie with resources or lack of it but in its management. He said NEITI which has the mandate to monitor and ensuring transparency and accountability of revenues from the extractive sector links this up to the overall goal of eliminating poverty in the society.
To achieve this however, the Executive Secretary pointed out that there was need to disseminate and popularize its objectives and activities with the citizens especially at communities and grassroots levels in order to galvanize their support which he said was critical to achieving set goals and objectives.
Collaboration with NGOs and civil society organizations he explained is needful in that regards and called for a mutual relationship with CSOs adding that the work of NEITI can feed into that of CSOs and vice versa and assured SDIC of NEITI’s willingness to collaborate with it.
Also speaking, the Director of Communication of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, stated that NEITI has made some remarkable achievement in line with its framework. He said NEITI has some considerable level of success with bringing about information and data disclosure by extractive companies in Nigeria, pointing out additionally that while a number of anti-people extractive contracts are being reviewed, its engagements have led to the recovery of over $2.4 billion in lost revenues even as he said reforms are presently being pursued in the Federal Inland Revenue Service towards tracking more of the nation’s resources.
Earlier, the Head of the National Advocacy Centre of SDIC, Vivian Bellonwu-Okafor, stated that they were NEITI, to rub minds with the body on some issues concerning the industry as well as offer plausible ways of addressing some of these.
Bellonwu-Okafor explained it was time to begin to adopt more pragmatic and sustainable solutions to the multi-faceted challenges the industry faces, particularly the oil and gas sector which include oil stealing, facilities vandalization, environmental pollution and degradation, restiveness as well as high level corruption.
She said NEITI needs to bring itself and work closer to the people particularly in communities to create room tool for mutual understanding and meaningful collaboration and co-operation. On oil stealing and illegal refineries, the SDIC Head pointed out that licensing of local government, communities and interested individuals to establish modular refineries would curb the practice as well as check the environmental calamity posed by both the perpetrators as well as the those checking it; JTF and other operatives who empty the crude into the natural environment and set fire on it.
She further urge NEITI to push for the implementation of the recommendation of its past reports as well as other reports around the industry including the Ribadu report, the KPMG as well as the House of Representatives report on subsidy scam.
SDIC assured NEITI of its support adding that it was willing to partner with it for community level and citizens engagement.
NEITI used the occasion to present copies of its report to SDIC.
SDIC has been among the citizens groups calling for the proper funding and strengthen of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to making it more impactful and result oriented.