CTA tasks Tinubu on immediate reconstitution of NEITI Working Group

0
73

-calls for renewed strategy to reinforce contract disclosures in extractive sector

By Michael Oche

The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has tasked the National Assembly on the quick passage of the NEITI Amendment Act 2007 and listing NEITI Board as statutory to avoid the constant dissolution of the board each time a new government is in power.

The group also called for the support of the legislative arm of government, which will include the presentation of NEITI reports as a priority in the legislative agenda.

In a statement by its executive director, Faith Nwadishi, the CTA urged the federal government to quickly reconstitute the National stakeholders working Group (NSWG) of NEITI, noting that the non-reconstitution of the board at many times posed a clog in the wheel of progress and success in the EITI process.

“Often, this has led to EITI marking Nigeria low in this aspect. We call upon President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to help in sustaining this progress of the NEITI implementation in Nigeria by quickly reinstating the National stakeholders working Group (NSWG) of NEITI that was dissolved alongside other boards of MDAs in the country,” Nwadishi said.

According to her, the peculiarity of the mandate of the NSWG justifies the call for its reinstatement, expressing hope that in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, this would signal the beginning of a new age marked by accountability and advancement.

The executive director said the CTA welcomes the news of Nigeria’s achievement in the recent final global assessment of the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative EITI in the country.

It would be recalled that in a release by the EITI global office, Nigeria achieved the highest possible score of 90 points for data integrity, report comprehensiveness, outcomes and impacts, economic growth contribution, and legal framework conformance.

Nwadishi said although this is a commendable achievement, NEITI, the civil society, relevant stakeholders and the Nigeria government still have a lot to do to achieve at least a 98 percent excellent mark in the next EITI process in 2026.

The CTA therefore, called for the cooperation of all stakeholders, including companies in the extractive sector to work together for the good of Nigeria, especially, in projecting positive activities that will lead to satisfactory outcomes from the EITI process.

She said, “Industry operators and government agencies/regulators should open their doors and allow access for robust engagements and consultations at all times.

“As pointed out in the report, Contract Transparency should be a key area to focus in the next EITI process .

“We therefore call for a renewed strategy to reinforce contract disclosures and beneficial ownership by industry operators and government. The expansion of beneficial ownership declarations, the focus on the development of the solid minerals sector, and all other emerging challenges in the extractive sector as listed in the EITI Board assessment for improvement are additional areas that need to be improved.”