The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji has called for a stronger and deeper partnership with the media in its advocacy to ensure prudent management of Nigeria’s natural resources.
Dr. Orji made the call during courtesy visits to media houses in Lagos. The visits took the NEITI Chief Executive to the Chairman of Channels Media group, Dr. John Momoh and the Managing Directors of Arise News and Thisday Newspapers, Ms Ijeoma Nwogwugwu and Mr Eniola Bello respectively in Lagos.
A statement by NEITI on Thursday quoted him as saying that “I am in Lagos to thank my colleagues in the media for their support and solidarity on my appointment and to seek collaboration and partnership. I regret that I am unable to visit all but only a few as a result of time and the Lagos traffic but will do so in the near future”.
He stated that the success of his job requires a lot of media collaboration in the use of data and information generated by NEITI to build knowledge and understanding, mobilise public support for a more transparent and accountable extractive industries.
According to him, “I am here to seek your support in the discharge of NEITI mandate especially in the dissemination of our reports”.
The transparency boss explained that NEITI exists to galvanise change in Nigeria’s natural resource management by making the findings and recommendations contained in its reports public, enlighten the people, and ultimately uplift their standard of living.
He commended the media chiefs for the quality of their programmes, experience and professionalism of their staff.
“Your media are very independent, analytical and insightful on issues. That is why we seek this relationship to enable us link our reports to visible impacts. I commend the young men and women you have given the opportunity to advance in the industry”. Dr Orji added that “I am very honoured and proud of the industry and veterans like you that have made the media to remain relevant in Nigeria’s socio-economic existence. You have also created a lot of opportunities for the younger generation. Your legacies cannot be quantified”.
“Sometimes, out of curiosity I call some of them to ask where there were trained, because I never knew them while I was in the industry. Look at the kind of capacity and professionalism they have brought to bear in their work. I am truly impressed”, he stated.
NEITI’s Executive Secretary appealed to the media executives to expand and equip their energy desks to enable them analyse sensitive and technical information associated with extractive operations.