By Gift Eguavoen
The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, has reiterated the commitment of the agency under his watch to link audit reports to visible impacts.
Speaking in Abuja at the end of a week-long knowledge sharing sessions and retreat for management and staff, he explained that the retreat was intended to review the steps being taken by the management to address identified gaps and make projections for the future
He added that the knowledge sharing sessions/retreat with the theme Continuity and Consolidation: Linking NEITI Reports to Impact, was aimed at exposing the management and staff of NEITI to the current developments in the extractive sector and generate new information and data required to develop a strategic plan.
Dr. Orji emphasised 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,” he said.
In his remarks, 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. “If we can sustain this, most of the anomalies in the extractive sector will be reduced. Sometimes when NEITI speaks you will think the agency is a Non-Governmental organization. This has endeared the agency to the minds of most Nigerians”, Rafsanjani said.