By Gift Eguavoen
Nigeria has been appointed the chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) 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 appointment was announced by the Country Manager of EITI for Anglo phone countries Dr Mike Uzoigwe at the closing of a week-long knowledge sharing sessions and retreat for management and staff of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (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 stated.
He added 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’.
Welcoming the development, Executive Director of Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), Faith Nwadishi, the choice of Dr. Orji to chair this global initiative was most exciting.
Extractive 360 reports that CTA has been a leading voice in the advocacy for contract transparency in Nigeria’s extractive sector, rallying other CSOs who share same vision to form a consortium of civil society advocates called the Contract Transparency Network (CONTRANET).
CTA is glad to admit the roles played by Dr Michael Uzoigwe of the then FOSTER and now the Country Manager of EITI for Anglophone Countries in establishing CONTRANET. NEITI equally, has been playing a commendable role by providing technical input to CONTRANET especially in the output of the radio programme CONTRACTWATCH.
“It is therefore important to acknowledge that NEITI has impacted positively by enshrining contract disclosure in its engagement with entities in Nigeria. We hope that NEITI will consolidate and explore this goodwill by linking up with the global community to sustain open contract and transparent contract processes in the extractive sector in Nigeria. CTA equally, calls on NEITI to rally all the covered entities to comply with the EITI standards and be in tune with NEITI and its operations anchored on best global practices,” Nwadishi added.