The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the BBC Media Action have agreed to work together to support communication activities targeted at reversing the resource curse through effective dissemination of NEITI industry audit reports and other accountability issues in the extractive sector.
The partnership will leverage on the two organisations’ respective strengths across natural resource governance; capacity building for the media and community mobilization and communication that will influence decision makers and enhance the participation of citizens in decision making processes.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio who led the NEITI Team on a visit to the BBC Media Action says, he is at the organization to seek support for NEITI’s drive at scaling up its public education, enlightenment and social mobilization especially at the grassroots level in the dissemination of its industry audit reports findings.
Mr. Adio said that natural resources for now are not benefitting the people as they should, noting that citizens need to be empowered with information about the issues in natural resource governance to enable them effectively demand accountability.
According to Mr. Adio, “we want to deepen our engagement with the people and the media. When you dramatize the issues contained in the NEITI Audit reports to educate the citizens of their role, the impact will be huge. BBC Media Action has programmes such as the ‘Story Story’ that are very effective and we want to key into them to create that much needed awareness that will influence high level policy making and act as a catalyst for change. This is the essence of the EITI”.
The Country Director of the BBC Media Action Mr. Seamus Gallagher affirmed his enthusiasm for the partnership which he says will provide opportunities for synergy between the two organisations for maximum impact.
According to him, “our mandates connect but we can do more for our different organizations and for the Country. We can help the media to communicate better with their audiences through capacity building, while we reach the audiences and communicate with communities across Nigeria with our messages of transparency and accountability and ultimately help improve and bring about lasting changes in their lives”.
Mr Gallagher explained that the visit was timely especially as the BBC Media Action is considering intervening in the extractive sector through creative communication activities.
NEITI and the BBC Media Action will bring their different perspectives and expertise to bear on the issue of natural resource governance. These include data, information and human resource expertise by the NEITI while the BBC Media Action is bringing its wide network of media platforms, relationships and communications specialty to facilitate the dissemination and stimulation of debates around extractive industries issues which are central to the mandate of NEITI.