By Stephanie Odiase
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) committed to transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors have resolved to close ranks and forge common front to advance good governance of the extractive sector in Nigeria.
Rising from an enlarged all-inclusive consultative forum convened by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative NEITI (NEITI), the CSOs underlined the need for unity and commitment to reconciliation with a view to ensure effective discharge of their roles as an important stakeholder in the NEITI/EITI process.
The CSO forum further resolved to commence healing and reconciliation process to build stronger partnership in using NEITI reports to push for reforms under the NEITI/EITI principles of transparency and accountability.
The meeting resulted to the set-up of an all-inclusive Committee charged with harmonizing existing frameworks and platforms of engagements into a comprehensive NEITI-CSO Constituency Guideline for the sector.
The new guideline to be developed is to be modeled after EITI Constituency guideline released at the Dakar Global Conference in June this year.
The seven-member Committee is Chaired by Tijah Bolton, Executive Director, Policy Alert and Juliet Ukanwosu, Executive Director, Extractive360 as Secretary of the Committee.
Other members of the Committee include Mr. Taiwo Otitolaye, Coordinator, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Nigeria; Faith Nwadishi, Executive Director, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA); Dr. Mina Ogbanga, Executive Director, Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI) and Bassey Udo, National Coordinatior, Media Initiative for Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI).
The CSOs commended NEITI Secretariat for initiating and facilitating the meeting and called for sustained regular engagements, while welcoming the federal government’s support to NEITI Secretariat in securing a befitting permanent office accommodation.
The meeting which welcomed capacity programmes planned for CSO’s especially on the 2023 EITI Standard & EITI implementation in Nigeria, further urged the EITI globally, to acknowledge the permanent office accomplishment by Nigeria for NEITI as a rare innovation worthy of emulation by other EITI implementing countries.