As things stand today, Nigeria cannot take some important decisions as part of its obligations to the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), because its own version (NEITI) cannot function effectively. NEITI has no board and no executive secretary. The federal government has dissolved all boards of agencies and NEITI’s executive secretary, Zainab Ahmed, has been appointed minister of state for budget and national planning. About five weeks ago, she handed over to Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who was NEITI’s director of communication.
Somebody should tell the presidency that NEITI’s board and executive secretary are appointments that cannot be delayed for five months as was the case with selection of ministers. Even if the board had not been dissolved, its tenure and that of the executive secretary ought to have elapsed by now.
We are part of the global community and should not create the impression that we are not serious about transparency and accountability in our extractive industries, especially oil and gas. Not at this time of change and anti-corruption war should EITI catch the watchdog of our extractive industries napping.