The global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has called for the reconstitution of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
Dr Bady Balde, Deputy Executive Director, Global EITI Secretariat, while briefing the newsmen on Friday in Abuja expressed hope that its recommendation on the reconstitution would be acted upon.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EITI is a global standard that promotes open, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.
The EITI delegation was on a mission to Nigeria to assess NEITI’s post validation plans and how to support the EITI implementation in Nigeria.
Balde had sought for the reconstitution of the NSWG to enable NEITI to fulfill its national mandate and obligation as a member of global EITI.
He said the delegation received strong commitment by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, towards its recommendation for the NSWG reconstitution and looked forward to its realisation.
“We have high expectations that the group will be reconstituted quickly,’’ he said.
Speaking, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary, NEITI underscored the need to preserve its structure, which is a major concern the delegation noted that it should be devoid of political interference.
He said, “Each time you dissolve the NSWG, it is a major problem for the organisation, we are happy that the SGF has promised to urgently bring the matter to the attention of President Bola Tinubu to address.
“The existence of a strong multi stakeholder group with a structured secretariat is one of the conditions for membership of the global body which has 57 members.
“This visit has re-enforced those messages, there are a lot of lessons learnt, a lot of opportunities to explore and gains to consolidate on.”
Orji ,while expressing satisfaction over the visit by the delegation conveyed its appreciation to the intentional Chair and the team at the headquarters of EITI.
One of the major challenges facing NEITI is the absence of the working group affected by the dissolution of all federal boards.
NSWG, commonly referred to in Nigeria as the board, is a multi-stakeholders coalition of extractive companies, civil society and government and a mandatory requirement for any country’s membership of the 57-member international organisation.
The delegation had earlier had productive sessions with the officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), National Assembly, SGF and oil and gas stakeholders, among others.