EITI, Stakeholders Laud Appointment Of Orji As NEITI Boss

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Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji.

The International Secretariat of the global Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) has congratulated Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji on his appointment as the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A message from the Executive Director and Head of the International Secretariat based in Oslo, Norway – Mr Mark Robinson welcomed the appointment with excitement and pledged closer EITI working relationship with Nigeria under Dr. Orji’s leadership of NEITI.

Similarly, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari in his congratulatory message remarked that Dr. Orji’s unwavering quest and commitment to promoting transparency and accountability in natural resource governance is an asset that will help him in his new role.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the NNPC to working closer with NEITI under Dr Orji especially in the implementation of the recommendations of the NNPC-NEITI joint committee on remediation.

The Head Communications and Advocacy, NEITI, Obiageli Onuorah (Mrs) in a statement said, the Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu conveyed the appreciation of the people of Abia North Senatorial district in Abia State to the President on the appointment. Sen. Kalu assured the President that Dr. Orji is a seasoned professional with amazing leadership qualities.

The Member representing Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu Federal Constituency, Dr. Francis Ottah Agbo, in his congratulatory message noted that “he has no doubt that Orji will use his experience as a journalist and an administrator to reposition the organisation to effectively ensure transparency and accountability in the country’s oil, gas and mining industries”.

The Lawmaker who is the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Narcotic Drugs, described Dr. Orji “as a journalist who rose through the ranks to an enviable position at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) before joining NEITI where he has risen to head the organisation”.

Leading civil society organizations in the extractive industry have also backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of Dr Orji to lead NEITI. The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) described the appointment as suitable and outstanding given Dr. Orji’s diverse experience in resource governance and public service.

CISLAC Executive Director Auwal Musa Rafsanjani expressed the hope that Dr. Orji’s appointment will help hasten the process of re-composition of NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) by the President.

The National Coordinator of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) in Nigeria, a major civil society organization in EITI process, Mr Peter Egbule described Dr. Orji’s appointment as sound judgement by President Buhari which is driven by merit, competence and integrity. They appealed to the President to reconstitute the NEITI Board in addition to this laudable decision.

The Executive Director, Women In Extractives, Faith Nwadishi said she was particularly happy that President Buhari acted promptly to appoint a replacement for the position, describing Mr Orji’s choice as excellent.

“Dr Orji is well and able. He is qualified and he has been in the EITI process from the beginning, and so he brings a lot of experience to bear on the job”, Ms Nwadishi said.

Urging the Federal Government to reconstitute the board of NEITI which has been vacant for almost year, Ms Nwadishi said this would ensure the job of sustaining transparency in the oil and gas, and the solid mineral sector was not hindered.

She charged Mr Orji to hit the ground running and make the EITI process in Nigeria exemplary because of his wide experience in the EITI process.

The National Coordinator of Media Initiative on Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI), Bassey Udo, hailed Mr Orji’s appointment, saying as a professional communications expert and media guru, he would deploy his many years’ experience to expand NEITI’s relationship with the media to deepen the EITI process in Nigeria.

“We commend Mr President for the excellent decision. We congratulate Dr. Orji on the well-deserved appointment. We urge him to use his good offices to deepen NEITI’s interventions in the oil, gas and mining sectors through a wider stakeholders’ engagement and outreach through the media for the overall good of the industry,” Mr Udo added.

You will recall that Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji was appointed Executive Secretary of NEITI by President Muhammadu Buhari on 18th February, 2021 at the expiration of the previous Board.

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