By Michael Eboh
NIGERIA Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has called for increased funding and support from its development partners to enable it meet up with its operations and activities. This, according to a statement by NEITI, is due to the crash in the global prices of crude oil which has created a number of challenges in the discharge of its duties.
Acting Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who made the call in Abuja at a meeting with relevant development partners and diplomatic missions, identified automation of NEITI audit process, data gathering and management, capacity building for NEITI staff, the media and the civil society as well as wide dissemination of the audit reports, as major challenges.
He, therefore, called on international development partners to come to its aid to strengthen its fight against corruption in the oil, gas and mining sectors. According to him, as a result of the crash in global oil prices, the support of development partners would be helpful to complement the Federal Government’s budgetary provisions for NEITI operations.
Orji explained that NEITI’s agenda is to transit from its focus on transparency through accountability to ensuring that its work results to visible impact in the lives of the citizens.
He said, “By providing credible information and data on revenue generation, collection and management of extractive industries, NEITI is encouraged that its intervention has led to increasing public demands for accountability and the on-going reforms in the oil, gas and mining industries.”
He further extolled the virtues of the former Executive Secretary, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, now a Minister and assured the donors that she left behind a solid team and structure to build on her achievements.
Representatives of the World Bank, DFID, European Union, Oxfam and major Diplomatic missions endorsed NEITI’s strategic plan and pledged to offer the support needed to actualise the plan.