Group insists on transparency in oil companies dealings with government
Founding National Coordinator of Publish What You Pay, Nigeria (PWYPN), Rev. David Ugorlor, has said that the all the companies dealing oil extractive sector must continue to publish what they pay to the governments at all levels as matter of its transparency message to all Nigerians. He also urged the Federal Government to truly diversify its source of revenue and not paying lip service to the call.
Ugorlor, who is also the Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment Economic Justice (ANEEJ), stated this on Monday at the opening of the two-day Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the group comprising about 200 Coalition of Civil Society (CSOs) held at Rock View Hotels, Owerri.
Meanwhile, delegates at the AGM have elected Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, the hitherto, Southeast zone Cordinator Executive Director of Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESSOR), as the new national coordinator of the PWYPN. He emerged a winner in the Keely contested position. He thanked his colleagues for electing him, promising to lead the international body well.
Speaking, at his opening speech, Ugorlor said the impact of the body since it was established in the country some years ago, had led to the establishment strengthening policy of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), making it mandatory to every oil companies and other companies that pay certain amount to the governments to publish what they pay, advising the delegates to note that the outcome of the gathering was beyond a normal communiqué/ position paper of a conference.
“The campaign is not about North and South or Yoruba / Hausa. It is about capacity to generate knowledge for national results,” he said.
In the ceremony tagged: “Extracting the truth, Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in the Extractive Sector – Non-Oil Gas and Solid Minerals,” attended by the Coordinator of the group, Faith Nwadishi; the Programme Manager of the organization, in London, Stephanie Rochord; the Southeast coordinator of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), and Executive Director of Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR), Emeka Ononamadu; a representative of the NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya, a representative of the CSOs in the NEITI, Kola Banwo, among others, Ugolor, said though the campaign has yielded fruits , the group would continue to demand that the government should not regard the struggle as personal or hate the campaigners, rather as a way to instil confidence among the citizenry.
In their speeches, Nwadishi, Ononamadu, Rochord, Orji, noted that the campaign was a just one, stressing that it hinged on four pillars, which are not targeted to benefit one ethnic group at the expense of others, rather, for the benefit of the entire country.
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