InfoStride News and the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) recently convened a crucial meeting with oil firms and miners to discuss strategies for enhancing transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s oil and gas as well as solid minerals sectors.
Hosted in Lagos by OPTS, the forum saw the participation of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) team, led by its Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya. Notable representatives from companies such as Oando Plc, Platform Petroleum, ND Western, and the National President of Miners Association of Nigeria, Dele Ayanleke, were also present.
During the event, Ogbonnaya emphasized that the NEITI-Companies Forum serves as a vital platform through which the agency collaborates with both the country and operating companies to align with the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). He highlighted the mandatory nature of participation at the highest level of EITI processes and assured that NEITI would work closely with OPTS to revitalize the Companies Forum, which faced setbacks due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ogbonnaya clarified that the forum’s purpose was to offer companies an opportunity to scrutinize NEITI’s work, seek clarifications, and ask questions without the need for formal letters. He emphasized that companies’ active participation in EITI activities had implications for their global corporate reputation. NEITI, he stated, serves as a review mechanism to guide companies in adhering to transparency, accountability, and good governance principles.
Contrary to damaging reputations, Ogbonnaya highlighted NEITI’s primary objective of encouraging and creating an enabling environment for companies to conduct their businesses. The forum acts as a platform for open dialogue and collaboration between NEITI and industry stakeholders.
In his opening remarks, Gwueke Ajaifia, the Executive Director of OPTS, shared insights into ongoing discussions with NEITI aimed at strengthening the Forum. He expressed the organization’s commitment to engaging key stakeholders across all companies and increasing attendance at future forums. Ajaifia underscored the importance of NEITI to every stakeholder in Nigeria, emphasizing the critical role the organization plays in providing data and information that enables Nigerians to comprehend the dynamics of the nation’s extractive resources.
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