Coalition lauds Buhari on NEITI board, faults nomination process
Civil society coalition working in the extractive industries, under the auspices of Publish What You Pay Nigeria (PWYP), has lauded the Federal Government on the reconstitution of the Board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
Indeed, the reconstitution of the board, also known as National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) prevented a likely sanction against Nigeria for late release of its 2013 audit report by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) International.
A statement signed by the National Coordinator of PWYP, Faith Nwadishi lauded the appointment of Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi as the Chair of the NSWG, saying he will bring credibility to the NEITI process in the country.
However, while picking the inadequacies that are inherent in the selection process, Nwadishi stressed that government appointing an Executive Secretary as well as non-appointment of representative from the oil and gas sector as a great omission, saying, “not having a representative of corporate players within that sector will inexplicably leave a huge gap and exclude a critical stakeholder out of the conversation.”
While applauding the appointment of Waziri Adio as the Executive Secretary of NEITI owing to his vast experience in the EITI processes, Nwadishi pointed out that such appointment is an exclusive reservation of the Board.
She explained: “The process and manner of the Executive Secretary’s appointment is in direct conflict with legal provisions of the NEITI Board’s Charter. Section 4 of the said charter is very clear on how the appointment of the executive secretary of the NEITI should be done i.e upon the recommendation of the constituted NSWG. Therefore, the announcement of Audio Waziri as the Executive Secretary of the board contravenes this provision as he was not recommended by the NSWG.”
In the same vein, the coalition has also rejected the appointment of Kola Banwo as the representative of the civil society groups on the Board.
The coalition said: “We wish to state that we find the announcement disruptive, prejudicial to the on-going process and in bad faith. It is pertinent to ask at this juncture: When did the process that produced Kola Banwo as CSO representative begin and end? What procedure did it follow? Which CSOs participated in that process? Did it reflect the EITI’s principle of transparency? Does the appointment of Kola Banwo meet the provisions of the EITI Standard and more specifically, its CSO Protocol?
We hold nothing against Mr. Banwo as an individual. However, as champions of due process, the civil society constituency cannot be seen as sacrificing its own guiding precepts. We therefore wish to state that the surreptitious character of this announcement of Banwo as CSO representative makes a mockery of the EITI Principles and flies in the face of the intrinsic values of the constituency he seeks to represent.”
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