OrderPaperToday – Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, has commended the rebuilding and upgrade of the broadcast infrastructure on-going at the headquarters of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in Abuja.
Dr. Orji described the expansion and digitization of the news and programme facilities and establishment of several multi-purpose digital studios at the corporation as positive revolutions in broadcasting that should be emulated by other publicly owned media organizations in the country.
Making reference to the motto of the FRCN which is “uplifting the people and uniting the nation”, Dr. Orji explained that he was at the FRCN because the corporate values of the corporation aligns with the mandate of NEITI.
“We cannot engage in public enlightenment, education and debates on natural resource management which NEITI is spear-heading without the support and collaboration of the FRCN”, he emphasised during a courtesy visit to the radio house.
Advising the corporation to expand its energy desk to cover new and millennial issues in energy transition, Dr. Orji reiterated that the media and FRCN is a major anti-corruption platform that stands for openness, transparency and accountability.
The transparency boss reminded his host that the whole essence of the EITI was to draw national and international attention to the dangers of resource curse and how to help countries plagued by the scourge reverse the curse.
He attributed the on –going reforms in Nigeria’s extractive sector to the strong collaboration between the civil society, government and companies under the EITI framework which Nigeria is a signatory.
“We have created a coalition between the civil society that represent the people, government that hold and manages the resources to improve the business environment and the companies that exploit and do business in the country so they can do good business and make good returns to government. These are the reasons why NEITI exists” Dr. Orji noted.
He added that “the current massive reforms going on in the oil, gas and mining sector unknown to the public, is as a result of the work that the coalition of the civil society, government and companies are doing. When we publish our reports, we get the legislators and citizens to discuss the findings and recommendations. The NEITI reports recommended for instance, the introduction of the petroleum industry bill”.
The Director General of the FRCN, Dr. Mansur Liman, while welcoming his guest said that he has followed NEITI’s progress and trajectory and is impressed by the agency’s strides in upholding the tenets of transparency and accountability as laid down by the global EITI.
According to the DG, “FRCN will give NEITI all the necessary support, seeing that the corporate values of the two agencies are similar. Please circulate your reports to the FRCN news platform for wider engagement and dissemination.
“I have seen the areas you want us to concentrate; we will give you total support because we are doing this for our country. We will increase the coverage of NEITI activities and we will look into the proposal to expand our energy desk”, he added.
Recall that Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya had earlier called on the media to join NEITI in deepening transparency and accountability in the Nigerian extractive sector.