Extractive Sector Roundtable – CCIDESOR And PWYP-Nigeria Push For More Open Extractive Sector

As Nigerians seek open and transparent extractive sector, the Citizens’ Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) in partnership with Publish What You Pay-Nigeria (PWYP) and Development Measures are championing initiatives that will contribute to extractive sector accountability and openness aimed at reducing corruption. With support from Justice for All, CCIDESOR in partnership with PWYP-Nigeria organized a one-day multi-stakeholders roundtable on open and accountable extractive industry on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017.

The core objectives of the roundtable was to examine modalities on how to reduce corruption and deepened transparency and accountability in the extractive sector, how to build the capacity of those working in the extractive sector particularly the CSOs for effective engagement, to carefully define the nature of engagement in the extractive sector, and to identify key factors that affect transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. In overall, the roundtable centered on what needs to be done to improve transparency in the extractive sector.

Participants at the roundtable selected across NEITI, Publish What You Pay-Nigeria, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, NNPC, Ministry of Petroleum, Media and other Civil Society Organizations, argued that the desire to have transparency in the extractive sector particularly in the oil and gas which is the major revenue earnings for Nigeria is fundamental.

However, as part of sanitizing the extractive sector, Mr. Okezie Kelechukwu, Ebonyi State Publish What You Pay coordinator, identified building grassroots capacity as fundamental in pursuit of transparency in the extractive sector. He argued, building local capacity will boost their aptitude to demand accountability from both the government and the extractive companies on the revenue generation and utilization.  And that will increase the transparency consciousness of the key players in the sector, knowing they are going to be accountable to the people.

Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, the Executive Director, Citizens’ Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) and the National Coordinator, PWYP-Nigeria identified waste, fraud and abuse as the main branches of corruption in the extractive sector. He argued, transparency does not automatically translate to development, but, rather it is the generation, allocation and the proper utilization of the extractive revenue that translate to development.

In the two panel discussions, the panelists identified corruption in the extractive sector as a key factor impeding development in Nigeria, while the lack of access to information and open data are also key drivers of corruption in the sector. The panelists and the participants argued, the passage of the Freedom of Information is not enough to addressing corruption in the extractive sector, but its effective use and the key players in the sector compliance to FOI.

Participants at the roundtable identified “Beneficial ownership” as a fundamental approach to addressing corruption in the extractive sector. They also recommended enacting the Natural Resource Management Law that will ensure justice in the resource management.

 

Audu Liberty Oseni

Communication Officer, PWYP-Nigeria