GOODWILL MESSAGE TO THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE CONVENED BY THE NIGERIA EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVES (NEITI) BY PUBLISH WHAT YOU PAY, DELIVERED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR, FAITH NWADISHI ON THE 9TH OF FEBRUARY, 2012 AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA
I am delighted to be invited to participate at thisconference as a voice for civil society groups involved in the campaign for transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.On behalf of the over 650 member organizations of Publish What You Pay (PWYP), Nigeria and international, I bring you greetings on the occasion of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Initiative’s (NEITI) National conference with the theme “Delivering Transparency, Reaping Accountability and Prosperity”.I must congratulate the management of NEITI for choosing this theme, which in our view is very apt considering the current concerns by all for the extractive sector in Nigeria.
It is important to note that PWYP as a coalition championed the campaign that led to the formation of the Extractive Industries Transparency initiatives (EITI) globally, for this reason, PWYP considers itself a key stakeholder in the EITI value chain.While EITI exercises government’s will power to open the books and produce the records, PWYP exercises the people’s right by demanding accountability from government and her agents with the records. So we can safely say that none can work without the other. PWYP ensures that the principles for setting up the EITI are adhered to translating to sustainable development for the people.
For this reason PWYP in constantly engaging the NEITI, must periodically ask critical questions, proffer suggestions on issues and ensure that the integrity of the initiative is intact..
We support NEITI and the Government of Nigeria to continue its leadership role by linking transparency to accountability. PWYP would like to make the following recommendations to NEITI and the Federal Government:
- To issue a statement in support of the US and EU legislations that supports EITI implementation which would bring transparency to a new level as well as creating an environment where accountability can thrive.
- Call on other countries such as Canada and China yet to follow the example of the US and EU to do so.
- Ensure that PWYP-Nigeria is represented on the Multi-stakeholder group (NSWG) just like in the other 34 EITI implementing countries.
- Set the example for the future standard of the EITI, an improved, broader and more rigorous standard of the EITI.
The recent evaluation of the EITI states that "The results on transparency and accountability are found where national EITI implementation has gone beyond the standard. NEITI sets the pace globally having gone beyond the standard but more is demanded by disclosing all payments (including in-kind payments and their monetary value), a sub-national level implementation (state and Local government level), provide further key information to make the figures disclosed meaningful and this is information on contracts, volumes of production, prices, costs, profits, etc.
- Become a leader on the continent by making the Africa voice well heard internationally, appropriate the EITI and shape it to the needs of transparency, accountability and good governance for the management of African resources;
- NEITI can be a transformational tool for Africa extractive sector if Nigeria takes a step in leading the process and take it to the next level, a second generation of EITI that provides a full picture of the extractive industry in our countries, influence policy choices and promote accountability downward to local communities and citizens.
To achieve this mandate of NEITI, all hands must be on deck, from the presidency, to the legislature, the judiciary, state, local governments and communities; Civil society activists and International partners are not left out, it is our duty to support the work of NEITI to achieve its full potential.PWYP reaffirms her commitment to work with NEITI towards achieving its objectives of transparency and accountability in the extractive sector which is the transformation we all desire.
Once again, I congratulate NEITI and all stakeholders at this conference and wish us fruitful deliberations.
Thank you and God Bless.
National Coordinator, PWYP ,9th February, 2012