26 February 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – A coalition of over 100 member organisations campaigning for revenue transparency and accountability in the extractive sector, Publish What You Pay, PWYP, Nigeria, has warned that the provisions of the process of appointing an executive secretary as stipulated in the Act establishing the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, was not duly followed in the appointment of the new NEITI executive secretary, Waziri Adio.
Publish What You Pay, meanwhile, congratulated the federal government for reconstituting the governing board of the NEITI, noting that the move saved Nigeria in the nick of time from being suspended by the international board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI.
The group in a statement, yesterday, by the PWYP National Coordinator and a member of the EITI international, Faith Nwadishi, while applauding Adio’s choice, noted that the process and manner of his appointment are in direct conflict with the legal provisions of the NEITI board’s charter.
Nwadishi noted that “Section 4 of the said charter is very clear on how the appointment of the executive secretary of the NEITI should be done, that is, upon the recommendation of the constituted National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG).
“Therefore, the announcement of Waziri Adio as the executive secretary of the board contravenes this provision as he was not recommended by the NSWG.”
She added, “We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to, in the spirit of his commitment to transparency and accountability, remedy what we believe is an innocuous error.
“This should be done by first appointing Mr. Adio as a member of the board and allowing the board to go through the process of recommending the obvious choice to the president,” Nwadishi said, adding that Adio’s appointment is in direct conflict with legal provisions of the NEITI board’s charter.
The coalition which also drew the attention of the president to the conspicuously missing representation of the oil and gas sector in the composition of the NEITI board, said, “Given that over 90 per cent of the activities of the extractive industry in Nigeria is in the oil and gas sector, 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.”