Policy Alert and Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Nigeria have launched a campaign that seeks to promote greater disclosure of oil, gas and mining transactions in Nigeria.
The campaign tagged #WetinWeGain, also seeks to empower citizens of resource-rich communities with adequate and accurate information to ask the right questions and thereby benefit fully from their natural resources.
“Due to poor management, operational opacity and corruption in Nigeria’s oil, gas and mineral subsectors, the country has witnessed a massive hemorrhage of assets and revenues over the last six decades” said Tijah Bolton-Akpan, Executive Director of Policy Alert.
“Rather than Nigeria’s natural resources contributing to prosperity for its citizens, we have witnessed a downward slide on several development indicators, one of the latest being that Nigeria now leads the pack of countries having the highest poverty burden, with an estimated 87 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty, according to a 2018 data by the World Poverty Clock, compiled by Brookings Institute,” Akpan said.
“This campaign will use data analysis and simplification, public sensitization, community capacity building and advocacy to drive home messages that can propel action and help us begin to reverse the resource curse, a phenomenon that sees resource-rich countries trailing behind on most development indicators,” he added.
Also speaking on the campaign, PWYP Nigeria National Coordinator, Peter Egbule said, “Corruption undermines the potential for revenues to be used to improve the economic and social lives of citizens, particularly resource-rich communities who suffer loss of livelihoods, destruction of their environment and other deprivations due to the extraction of these resources.”
According to Egbule, while recent developments in the international policy arena have resulted in a lot more extractive data becoming available than was previously possible, the challenge remains to bridge the gap between extractive data and the utilization of such data by civic actors to demand accountability from governments and companies.
“The #WetinWeGain Project will help bridge that gap and we are excited to partner with Policy Alert on this campaign,” he said.
The Coordinator, Publish What You Pay UK, Miles Litvinoff, who welcomed the #WetinWeGain campaign launch, said: “PWYP UK is very pleased to be working with Policy Alert and PWYP Nigeria in helping to raise awareness among Nigerian communities about the companies extracting their country’s natural resources and these companies’ payments to Nigerian government entities.
Litvinoff said transparency and informed public participation are essential if there is to be full accountability in Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining subsectors.