The appointment of Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji as the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has elicited excitement from global stakeholders with congratulatory messages pouring in, and commendations going to President Muhammadu Buhari for the excellent choice.
In a congratulatory on its verified Twitter handle on Friday, the EITI International Secretariat congratulated Dr Orji on the appointment and wished him success in the new role as NEITI Executive Secretary.
The tweet read, “Congratulations Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji! On behalf of the international secretariat, we wish you success in your role as executive secretary of NEITI and look forward to working with you.
Also in a personal message on his verified Twitter handle on Friday, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mr. Mele Kyari, joined the EITI world to congratulate Dr Orji as he assumes leadership of NEITI.
Tweeting from his verified Twitter handle Mele Kyari, the GMD wrote “Congratulations Dr Orji on assuming the leadership of NEITI. Your unwavering quest and commitment to promoting transparency and accountability will make your task easy. We look forward to working with you to deepen transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry.”
Furthermore, a statement by the Corporation’s spokesman, Dr. Kennie Obateru, quoted Kyari, as applauding President Muhammadu Buhari for the wonderful decision of appointing Dr. Orji as the Executive Secretary of NEITI.
Kyari described Dr. Orji as a competent technocrat, EITI expert and resource governance professional, saying he has been deeply involved in NEITI and NNPC engagements on reforms of the oil and gas industry over the past decade adding that the appointment was most timely.
As a supporting company of the EITI at the international level, Kyari said NNPC was ready to sustain its collaboration with NEITI under Dr. Orji’s leadership in the key areas of the agency’s industry audit process, exchange of information and data, commodity trading, contract transparency, beneficial ownership, mainstreaming and overall oil and gas industry reforms under the EITI/NEITI framework.
Also in a statement, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), while congratulating Dr. Orji on his appointment, pledged to work closely with NEITI under his leadership to push the boundaries of on-going reforms in the extractive industries.
Executive Director of CISLAC Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, described the choice of Dr. Orji as very suitable and outstanding given his wealth of knowledge in working with NEITI and sustained engagements with member countries of the global EITI over the years.
He urged Orji to provide required leadership, support, partnerships and collaboration needed by NEITI, the civil society and multi-stakeholders to push the boundaries of transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s strategic oil, gas and mining sector.
While commending President Buhari on the appointment, CISLAC appealed to the President to leverage on the excellent choice of Dr. Orji’s appointment to hasten the composition of the NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group whose tenure of office has expired since.
Similarly, the Media Initiative on Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI) while congratulating Dr Orji on his appointment said there is no shred of doubt that the appointment is most deserving.
National Coordinator of MITEI, Mr. Bassey Udo said: “We are very confident that Mr. President did not make any mistake in your appointment…We commend Mr. President for the excellent decision. We felicitate with you on this well-deserved appointment. We urge you to use your good offices to deepen NEITI’s interventions in the oil, gas and mining sectors and EITI process in Nigeria through a wider stakeholder’ engagement, outreach and advocacy through the media for the overall good of the industry,” Udo said.
“As the foremost network of extractive industries journalists in Nigeria, MITEI reiterates its commitment to work with you in your new assignment to ensure you succeed in helping NEITI realize its mandate of entrenching transparency and accountability in the management of the nation’s extractive resources,” he added.
Also congratulating the new ES, OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative described the appointment as a square peg in a square hole, noting that NEITI will achieve highly under Dr. Orji’s leadership.
Oke Epia, OrderPaper Executive Director, said in a statement that the rich media and public communications background of Dr. Orji prepares him adequately for the task of driving very important extractive sector reforms anchored on the EITI Standards which NEITI has admirably pushed through the Nigerian space in the last couple of years.
Dr Orji whose appointment takes effect today 19th February, 2021, is a renowned broadcaster, Journalist, natural resource governance expert, political economist and development communications specialist, from Abia State.
He is coming to the job with over 30 years of diverse and extensive experience in the public service, the media industry, and international development sector. Until his appointment as Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji was for several years, NEITI’s Director of Communications and Advocacy.