Publish What You Pay (PWYP), Nigeria held a two day Annual General Meeting (AGM) with the theme titled: Repositioning PWYP coalition for vision 2025 and contemporary issues in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process. The AGM addressed germane issues to reposition the coalition, strategize on the 2025 PWYP Vision, critical interventions necessary on Nigeria’s low level commitment to transparency and accountability in the extractive industries. It also conducted its general elections.



  • All 37 state coordinators
  • All 6 zonal coordinators (steering committee members)
  • 6 BOT members
  • Member organizations (in Abuja and outside Abuja)



The BOT chairman, Ibrahim Abdullahi Shunni in his welcome remark commended the efforts invested to organise the AGM and encouraged viable participation as it will help chart the end results of the two (2) day meeting. He assured the coalition of the BOT’s commitment in positioning PWYP as one of the strongest network in Nigeria.



Manuga Dudu observed that the AGM agenda had no heading/title and called for it to be corrected. Thereafter, Aisha Abdullahi (PWYP coordinator – Niger state) moved for the adoption of the Agenda and Dr. Yusuf Arrigasiyyu of Kaduna state seconded the motion.


Mr. Patrick Chiekwe (Acting National Coordinator) in his welcome address noted that the AGM is timely as it will deliberate in resolving issues such as the leadership gap which the coalition is confronted with and enjoin delegates and participants to participate fully.


The Registrar-General of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) represented by Terver Ayua-Jor in his goodwill messages congratulated PWYP on the milestone of its AGM; for championing transparency and accountability in the extractive sector through scrutiny of revenue payments and receipts, tracking and accessibility to such records and publicity and for collaborating and supporting CAC on beneficiary ownership particularly as it relates to registered entities that are in the (or in the process of joining the) extracting natural resources in our environment and other related matters.

Representative of the OGP secretariat in his goodwill message congratulated PWYP on its AGM. He also assured the coalition that the doors of the OGP secretariat are always open for discussions on effective deliveries on the coalition’s mandate.

Rev. David Ugolor, the pioneer national coordinator of PWYP, Nigeria; noted that PWYP Nigeria is a dynamic coalition and showed optimism that the AGM will come up with great achievements and a successful election process.

Demba Seydi, representative of for Anglophone West Africa on the African Steering committee on the Global Council; and the team at the PWYP Secretariat. Demba in a virtual solidarity message, congratulated the Nigerian coalition for the AGM and encouraged all to make valuable contributions towards a successful meeting.

Prior to when she proceeded on her leave, the Director of Members Engagement, PWYP International Secretariat- Stephanie Rochford in an email message, had wished the coalition a successful AGM; and expressed the support of the International Secretariat on the outcome of the AGM.



Highlights of this lecture include the following:

  • The lecturer gave a background on data disclosed under the EITI and these include contracts and licenses, revenue collection and allocation, social and economic spending.
  • The value of extractive data includes the fact that it minimizes corruption, promote debate, strengthens tax collection and monitor revenue allocation.
  • Contract transparency involves public disclosure of all the terms and conditions of a contract to the general public such that everyone is able to understand the substance and essence of the contract and monitor the performance of the contract by the contracting parties based on the terms and conditions of the contract.
  • Types of contract agreement include licenses, concessions, production sharing contracts, service contracts and joint ventures.
  • Requirements under the 2019 EITI standard include the fact that contracts and licenses be disclosed regardless of whether they are granted, entered into or amended commencing from January, 2021 and that government policies on disclosure of contracts and licenses that govern exploration and exploitation of oil, gas and other products be documented.
  • Challenges faced in contract transparency include lack of capacity, political commitment.
  • The role of civil society is critical to ensuring that:
  • effective contract transparency is achieved
  • Contract transparency leads to improvement in the quality of life of citizens.

[full lecture available on demand]



  • There is a synonym between political will and what we achieve. So, we need to make them understand we can only achieve success if we work together.
  • PWYP needs to build capacity on contract transparency so that we are able to track our achievements because until we have adequate information, we are unable to engage on the issues
  • The issue of contract transparency is not known by communities, we need to have communities on the driver’s seat to engage with IOC’s and the government on contract transparency.
  • Giving the Freedom of information (FOI) Act and Public Procurement Act, companies ought to be proactive in providing information publicly for us to interrogate.
  • The PIB is not clear on the roles of CSO’s and communities in the processes.
  • How do communities and CSOs engage stakeholders and demand accountability on proactive disclosure of contract procurement and terms in their communities.
  • What role is the FOI Act playing in advancing the progress of transparency in extractive sector?
  • What are the processes and networks to reposition PWYP in the extractive sector?
  • Whatever we have to do now, should be done while we await a bigger opportunity to further engage.
  • CSOs should critically analyse existing frameworks, understand the provisions so that we are able to engage adequately and more informatively.



 Theme: Benefit-sharing Negotiations between Host Communities and Extractive Companies: A Case Study of ANOH Gas Development Project


 After much deliberation, it was resolved by the AGM that coalition members individually write and submit their contributions on the agenda setting for PWYP to the rapporteur who will in turn compile and submit same on Day 2 of the AGM.

Mr. Ayodeji Alabi (Kwara state) moved for the adjournment of the meeting and Olabisi Omolona (Ondo state) seconded the motion. With this, day one of the AGM came to a successful close.




The AGM commenced with a review of the agenda setting as submitted by members and compiled by the secretariat as agreed on the previous day. At the end of the exercise, some items on the agenda were agreed on, some were merged, some were reconstructed and some were set aside for a later time when a constitution committee will be set up to for a draft Constitution.  


The National Secretariat represented by Paul Ogwu noted that for logistics challenges, the minutes of last AGM (2016) was unavailable.

On the above excuse, the AGM resolved that matters arising from the previous AGM which held in Owerri, be carried over to the next AGM.

With that, Oronsaye Harrison (Edo State) moved the motion for the adoption of the above resolution and Godson Jim-Dorgu (Bayelsa State) seconded the motion.



Before the election of a new National Coordinator (NC) began, the AGM dissolved the exiting office of the Acting National Coordinator (ANC). Sam Legborsi Pyagbara (Member BOT) moved the motion and Saviour Akpan, Esq. (Akwa Ibom) seconded it.

The contestants for the position of National Coordinator were Dr. Danladi Erisa and Comrade Taiwo Otitolaye.

Election guidelines as read out by the electoral committee and the following resolution were reached by the AGM:

  • Electoral committee members were not allowed to vote and as a result of this, Abba Bello was nominated to vote as a replacement for Hajia Fatima Umar (Kano state) who could not vote because she is a member of the electoral committee.
  • The two contestants were given 10mins each to address the electorates on their manifesto.
  • A mini accreditation was conducted where names of those nominated to vote from each zone was called up and confirmed by their zonal members before they proceeded to cast their votes.
  • North central had eight (8) delegates; North East – seven (7) delegates; North West – eight (8) delegates; South East – six (6) delegates; South South – seven (7) delegates and South West – seven (7) delegates. A total of 43 eligible votes
  • Godson Jim-Dorgu moved a motion for the AGM to adopt the runner up from the election exercise as the deputy coordinator since the contestants are only two and the AGM agreed.


The election process was conducted transparently, there were no void votes as all the voter voted in line with the guidelines provided.

At the end of the voting exercise, a total number of forty-three (43) votes was counted.

Comrade Taiwo received twenty – nine (29) votes while Dr. Erisa received fourteen (14) votes.

Comrade Taiwo was declared the winner/National Coordinator, PWYP Nigeria and Dr. Erisa emerged as the Deputy National Coordinator, PWYP Nigeria.

The new national coordinator proceeded to give his acceptance speech and the promise to work together with members and stakeholders.

Ayodeji Alabi (Kwara state) thanked the electoral committee for a job well done. He also moved a motion for the dissolution of the electoral committee and Barr. Kingsley  Anudiobu (Enugu state) seconded the motion.

The Chairman, BOT thanked the dissolved electoral committee for a great job. He also congratulated the National Coordinator elect and the deputy coordinator on the attainment of their new offices and tasks.



Tony Ayoka gave a breakdown of funds and activities implemented in the project, locations where activities were implemented and the successes recorded and the challenges encountered particularly with the project funder.

A committee was set up by the AGM to work with the past National coordinator on the issues raised and to revert to the house in one Month’s time. A motion was moved to this effect by Saro Legborsi Pyagbara and seconded by Aisha Abdullahi (Niger state).

Nominations for the CORDAID Committees were representatives from each of the six geopolitical zones. Members of the committee are:

  • Elder Ogazi Emeka (South East)
  • Kingsley Ozegbe (South South)
  • Amid Oyegbade  (South West)
  • Bachamma Yusuf  (North East)
  • Ayodeji Alabi (North Central)
  • Dr. Ahmed Hashim (North West)

Chairperson of the committee – Dudu Manuga (BOT North East/ Gombe State)



  • It was noted that PWYP was registered with the name “Publish What You Pay International Initiative” as against its generally accepted name “Publish What You Pay Nigeria”.
  • A constitution which was not known and owned by the coalition was presented as part of the requirement in the registration of the contentious name of the coalition at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
  • Members of the coalition argued strongly that they were yet to see the disputed constitution. As such, it was unanimously rejected. That the said constitution is unacceptable.
  • Sequel to this, the AGM set up a committee to produce a new constitution for PWYP CAMPIGN in Nigeria.
  • The constitution committee is to report in one (1) month beginning from the 6th of August, 2021.


Members of the Constitution Committee set up by the AGM are:

  1. Innocent Adjenughure (South South)-Chairperson
  2. Comrade Segun Fatoki (South West)
  3. Comrade Aisha Abdullahi (North Central)
  4. Mallam Shetima (North East)
  5. Kingsley Anidiobu (South East)
  6. Yusuf Arigassiyu (Noth West)
  7. Comrade Bertha Ogbimi (FCT)



After a two day in-depth deliberation, the AGM came to a successful end. The meeting was adjourned by Hope Doreen Peter (Benue state) and seconded by Effiom Duke (Cross River state). Dudu Manuga gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the BOT, she thanked participants for their valuable contributions and wished everyone journey mercies back to their respective destinations.


The Coalition needs a befitting Secretariat for the task ahead.

The new steering committee has no secretariat to work for now. A befitting secretariat is highly necessary for the enormous tasks ahead in the campaign. The secretariat is a contact point and clearing house to engage coalition members, partners and key stakeholders.

PWYP, Nigeria needs to be positioned to play leading role in key issues in the extractive going on in Nigeria and globally.



Despite these challenges, the 2021 PWYP AGM is on record as one of the most successful in the history of the Campaign in Nigeria.

Decisions on preparation, mobilization and participation were anchored by an AGM COMMITTEE whose membership cut across all Nigeria’s six (6) geo political zones under the guidance of the steering committee.

The state and zonal structures, old members, David Ugolor, the pioneer national coordinator were mobilized, CSOs partners, relevant government agencies, EITI Regional representatives, Michael Uzoigwe (PhD) and the media adequately participated.


Okezie, Kelechukwu J
Neighbourhood Environment Watch (NEW) Foundation
Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.



Geography: Ebonyi state is one of the states in the southeast of Nigeria. It lies between 703 N longitude, 50 4 E with a landmass approximated at 5.932 Sq.Km. The population of the state by the 2006 census is put at 3 million inhabitants. The state has boundaries in the North with Benue state, in the east with the Cross River, south with Abia state and west with Enugu state.

Mineral Deposits: The state is blessed with rich mineral resources such as Lead, Limestone, Zinc, Marble, Gypsum, granite Quarrying reserves, lignite, coal, salt, copper, kaolin, false gold phosphates etc.
Granite mining / quarrying and lead/zinc are two major solid minerals that are widely mined. Deposits are found in large quantities at Ishiagu in Ivo LGA, Ngbo in Ohaukwu LGA, Ezzainyimagu in izzi LGA, Nkaliki Unuhu and Enyigba in Abakaliki LGA, Umuogharu in Ezza North, Ameka in Ezza South LGA; Agalegu Ameri in Ikwo LGA, Amike Abba in Ebonyi LGA, Akpoha in Afikpo North LGA and Nkalagu in Ishielu LGA. Most of the extractive activities are carried out by mining companies such as Crush Rock industries in Ishiagu, First patriot (Royal Salt) Julius Berger and many others. Artisanal miners compliment the mining sector and counts for over 70% of the extractive activities in the state.

Extraction Process: A prospective site is cleared of vegetation (overburden) and later a hole is drilled deep into the rock and wired with dynamites (in the granite extraction). The dynamites are detonated and the huge granites are broken into manageable lumps, which are thereafter, lifted to vehicles that convey them to the quarrying machines, that further reduces them to sizes needed for road, and other construction purposes. In the case of lead and zinc mining, the investor prospects for the minerals and if located, sends in the machines needed for their extraction. The artisanal miner relies on luck and fortune teller to move in his/her excavator and begin to excavate in the hope of getting the lead and zinc. Family and communal agricultural lands are exploited and degraded in the cause of these extraction activities. Lives are lost, water sources contaminated, air polluted and conflicts promoted to secure authority over a prospective resource rich lands. These extractive activities in most of the communities are uncoordinated with no supervision or requirement for environmental impact assessment. Often times, there are no free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) and provisions of the Community Development Agreement (CDA), where such exists are never respected nor implemented. The resultant effects are degraded and unfertile agricultural lands, communal crises, water, air and land pollution, occupational hazards, deaths, poverty, adverse climatic changes and exotic diseases.

Workforce: Women account for over 80% of the labour force, providing cheap labour and sexually exploited. Widows, pregnant women, children of school age, and out-of-school youths are a common sight in most of extracting and quarrying sites. The men own the sites and have the resources to purchase the materials and equipments needed in the extractive business. Women are most engaged in carrying the lumps sometimes from depths of over 50meters deep and 10 hectares wide to the surface and into the vehicles. Work at the sites start as early as 7.30 am and could last till Dust particulates consisting of silicates and other cancerous minerals are inhaled by these workers and children that accompany them to the sites.

Earnings, Livelihood and Hazards: These groups of workers earn between Four Hundred (400) and Five Hundred Naira (N500) daily, and from this sum, they are expected to fend for their families and meet their health challenges. Most of the women that work at these sites are from polygamous homes where the women are left to fend for themselves and their children. Pregnant mothers and nursing mothers also work at these locations further exposing the health of their unborn child and the under-five olds to skin, lung, and pneumonia infection. They are exposed to such risks as industrial accidents from the pulley machines they operate, drowning from abandoned burrows, noise, dust, and water pollution. They also complain of severe body pains, cough, and constrictions. They aggravate their condition by taking snuff (Tobacco and potash) which they claim helps them to clear the nostrils, chests, and lungs.

Through interviews conducted by N.E.W at the various sites it is obvious that the casual labourers working in these sites do so out of frustrations and lack of meaningful engagements or employment. They are aware of the hazards of their work and could count colleagues who had died from work but do not have viable alternatives due to illiteracy, lack of skill acquisition, and family demands. Owners of the land where the granites are extracted could sell an acre of land for such pittance as N200, 000. There is no policy or institutional protection for these casual workers who suffer and are abandoned to their fate by the government. The few environmental Non-Governmental Organisations working in the state lack the funds and capacity for persistent advocacy for inclusion of this vulnerable group into government programs or to train the workers in skill acquisition enterprises.

Environmental Impacts of the Mining: After the minerals are extracted, there is no fill back or any remediation to restore the lands to previous positions. Trees cut are never replanted. The burrows serve as artificial lakes that drown children, livestock, and the unwary. Many homes suffer from collapsed buildings occasioned by cracks on the walls and on their foundation. In a reported case at Umuogharu, it took the villagers six tedious days to recover a body that got drowned, resulting from unexpected flooding that trapped the workers down the gorge.
At Agelegu Enyum community in Ikwo Local Government Area of the state, it is a tale of woes, of environmental degradation, land grabbing, intimidation, harassment and sexual abuse by a mining company, First Patriot company, formerly known as Royal Salt company. The company continue to pile their overburdens on family and community lands unhindered. The community feels helpless at the emasculation by the company whom they quoted the management of the company as saying that the “weight of their envelop is stronger than the voices of the community members”, which means that they can use their money to drown any voice agitating for their rights.

Poverty: Ebonyi state has a poverty index of over 64% (NBS 2019), the highest in the whole of the southeast. The predominant occupation of the people is subsistent farming. With the coming of civilian democracy, politics offers the next alternatives, and lives are lost in a competitive bid to be in a political position. The rate of poverty remains high in the various communities as the lands are no more fertile for agriculture. The chemicals used in the rock blasting and the particulates of sulfur and silica are carried into the artificial ponds that serve both domestic and livestock use resulting in gastroenteritis diseases.

Lack of Government Presence: Most of the communities, where these extractive activities occur, lack government presence. Water remains a dire need of the people. Boreholes commonly called ‘hernia pump’ serve as the major source of water, yet many of these communities lack these provision or other sources of potable water. Even where the boreholes are provided, the quality is poor that the people revert to the contaminated ponds for use as the mineral deposits underground affect the water quality. Agalegu, Umuogharu, Ezzainyimagu, Ngbo, Ishiagu, Ameka communities to mention a few where these minerals are extracted lack access roads, and health facilities are nonexistent and where they exist, lack basic services. Only tippers, trailers, and project vehicles of strong quality could access some of these areas. Unfulfilled government promises, tax drives and harsh task forces set up by the government are evidence of government existence in these communities. Sometimes, the communities resort to self help resulting in even harsher treatment and reclassifying the youths as members of the proscribed indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) or the Eastern security network (ESN). They are haunted, arrested, killed or disappeared. At Agelegu community, the youths interviewed stated that they do not sleep in their homes anymore for fear of arrest or elimination by the security agents in the state.

However these communities would appreciate any genuine efforts to improve their living standards, provide them with basic social amenities and connect them to government programs.
We conducted interviews with some of the workers at the various sites such as Umuogharu and Agalegu Ikwo and below are the responses as translated by me, Okezie, kelechukwu at the Umuogharu quarry village. That of Agalegu Ikwo will be reported in the next edition.


Annex A: Interviews
Interview 1
My name is Precious Igwe. I am 25yrs old. I am a school certificate holder (SS3), working as a labourer at this mining site. I am doing this job because my parents can’t afford to train me further. I can do business if I am given money or if the government can give me employment. This work is tedious and I use to feel pains at the waist, chest, and all over my body. Sometimes I feel cough.

Interview 2
My name is Blessing Alieze. I don’t know my age. I am from Enyim Ukwunbosi village. I have been working here for the past 3yrs. I started this work at 8 am and close by 5.30 pm. I have six children. I cater for them, since the death of my husband. I earn an average of four hundred Naira at the end of the work- assuming there is ‘market’. I always have ‘pepperish’ pains all over my body. To treat myself I visit the Chemist and ask the chemist to mix drugs for me. I have never gone to the hospital for medical attention due to lack of money. I am requesting for assistance. Even in my village, we have no boreholes and so travel long distances to fetch watch from neighbouring community or drink from stagnant ponds call ‘okpuru’.

Interview 3
My name is Chijioke Nwafor. I am 25years. I have worked here for the past 8 years. I dropped out of school due to lack of money from my parents to train me. I dropped in JSS2. We are eight (8) in my family and I am the firstborn. I earn between 400 to 500 naira daily and I use the money to fend for myself alone. I am not doing this work because I want to do it but because I have no other alternative. This is not a work you can use to cater for your family or make a meaningful living. The risks are many. After the work, I feel as if someone is using a hammer on my body. I feel body weakness daily from this work.

Interview 4
My name is Theresa Nwakpa . I am a widow with four children. I am from Ediaji Village. My husband died four years ago. I earn about four hundred Naira daily from this work. My four children are in public school and I train them. One of my children is sick for the past two weeks and I am doing this work to see if I can raise money for her hospital bill. I suffer from heart and chest pains.

Interview 5
My name is Sunday Nwogwu. I carry the stones from the holes to the top and I receive about 500 Naira. I am from Enyim village. We have this solid minerals and it is from this village that major lumps are taken to the sites, yet we do not have even a borehole, a road, or a health facility. We do this work both in the dry and rainy seasons. During the rains, we use an electric motor engine to drain the holes so we can go down and carry out the lasted lumps to the surface and to load them in a waiting tipper. We appeal for assistance to improve our living; we suffer so much from this work.


Executive Director,
The Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA)


Several researches attest to the fact that Nigeria has the second-largest amount of proved crude oil reserves in Africa, the eight largest among OPEC countries, and the 10th largest in the world. She also has the 8th largest gas reserves in the world. According to the (World Bank, 2019), Nigeria, with a population of about 203 million persons is the largest oil producer in Africa and is one of the world’s top five exporters of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Proved Reserves of Natural Gas in Nigeria was estimated to be 180 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) as at 2018

For over six decades, oil and gas has taken the centre state of Nigeria’s economy, relegating to the background agriculture which was the main stay under the Regional government of the 1963 Republican Constituted regions. As at today, the Nigeria’s population is estimated to be 203 million, with one of the largest economies in Africa. But this economy is still vastly reliant on crude oil. oil accounts for over 80% of foreign exchange earnings , and up to 66% of government revenue. However, it contributes less than 10% to Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

The Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA) carried out a dissemination and sensitization campaign in Lagos and Kwara states; situating it within her transparency and accountability program in the extractive sector with diverse groups. These clusters included, professional associations, academia, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, CAGs, CDAs, political parties, labour centres, women groups, persons with disability, social movements, media, research institutions, government ministries, departments and agencies and student bodies. In all, over seventy organizations participated.

The top question of several decades that has become a recurring enigma is whether oil is a blessing or a curse to Nigeria?

To address this question, CODWA deduction was juxtaposition of several factors premised from the research report, the two interactive sessions held in Lagos and Ilorin and the quality of life in Nigeria. The researchers of the oil and gas and the quality of life in Nigeria highlighted some major manifestations compared with global indicators.

The baseline material for CODWA’s education, promotion and mobilization of key groups and the critical mass in Nigeria to support reforms and transformation in the sector is the result of a study done by two eminent scholars Professor Adeola Adenikinju of the department of Economics, and Centre for Petroleum, Energy and Economic Law of University of Ibadan and his counterpart; Professor Aderoju Oyefusi of the department of Economis, University of Benin..

The report opined that despite sixty years of oil exploration and production and massive inflow of rents occasioned by multiple periods of oil boom, Nigeria remains at the bottom in terms of development. Recent performance rankings place her among countries with low human development with HDI score that is lower than the averages for oil-exporting countries and Sub-Saharan Africa. In spite, of the huge revenues earned from oil exports, estimated at over USD1.5 trillion between 1960 and 2017, Nigeria is ranked the sixth most miserable country on the 2018 Hanke’s Misery Index, behind two other troubled and natural resource rich countries, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
According to the research report, specific exemplar resultant failures is comparing Nigeria’s global ranking in the table.

This unexplainable misery in the midst of huge revenue from oil and gas can be located in the massive stealing and looting in the sector.  To illustrate, a report by the NNRC states that Nigeria lost about N3.8 trillion to oil theft in 2016 and 2017 and in comparison, the combined allocation for health and education in the two years was N189.4 billion. This translates to a mere 8.4% of the estimated value of losses from oil theft in the two years. Fuel subsidy is a know scam in the public domain in Nigeria. The daily loses is put at N2 billion daily.

While other major oil rich countries are diversifying, Nigeria is losing her earnings to official and unofficial theft. From the 2016 and 2017 example above, more looting continue under the President Muhammadu Buhari government.  Even worrisome is that Nigeria continues to lag behind in energy transition while smaller African countries have joined the Energy transition global trend. She is still entangled in the euphoria of fossil fuels that is fast becoming obsolete and climate change risks.

The Entrepreneurship Initiative for African Youth (member of PWYP Nigeria) organized a one day workshop with support from the Facility for Oil Sector Transformation (FOSTER), for Artisans across South-eastern Nigeria. The meeting which was held at Oakland Hotel, Enugu had 45 participants in attendance. The objective of the meeting was to improve the understanding of the artisans on oil and gas issues and galvanize the voices of artisans across the region to demand for reforms.

The informal sector, comprising of mostly artisans, has shown to be a major employer of labour and also contribute highly to the nation’s GDP. The workshop became pertinent because reports have shown that over reliance of the Nigerian economy on the petroleum sector makes it susceptible to the fluctuations of the international crude oil market.

The workshop was also organized to build a network of Artisans, sensitize and improve their awareness of artisans on how changes in the crude prices are transmitted to their livelihoods. At the workshop three presentations were made; understanding the Nigerian oil and gas sector, the use of public media in building a resilient artisan community and changing the perception of citizens on their involvement in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. These insightful presentations were followed up by a breakout session where the participants were divided into three groups and requested to develop advocacy strategies for engagement with the Federal, State and local governments respectively.

At the end of the workshop, a communiqué was developed and adopted by all the participants. There were also commitments by all the participants and organizers to move the outcomes of the workshop beyond the hotel. In conclusion, all the participants appreciated the organizers and acknowledged that the event had been very enlightening and informative.






APRIL 10, 2019


1.1. Theme
Multi-stakeholders meeting on Environmental Social Human Rights Impact Assessment of Nigeria

1.2. Date
April 10th 2019

1.3. Location and Venue
Nigeria Police Officers Mess and Suites, Plot 55, Samuel Ladoke Akintola Boulevard, Garki 11, Abuja.

1.4. Rationale
This is to promote and support a participatory framework for Environmental, Social and Human Rights Impact assessment in Nigeria to help achieve an EIA Policy and Legislative reforms that will promote, protect and remedy Human Rights breaches occurring during extractive operations in Nigeria.

1.5. Objectives
This Consultative meeting had the following objectives.
a. To contribute to efforts of PWYP in advocating for enshrining Environmental Social and Human Rights Impact Assessment in EIA Policies in Nigeria.
b. To engage the relevant stakeholders responsible for enshrining Environmental, Social and Human Rights Impact assessment in EIA Policies in Nigeria and heighten their interest in the inclusion of same in EIA Policies in Nigeria.
c. To elicit commitments and support from relevant stakeholders.

1.6. Methodology
On the basis of the objectives of the Consultative Forum, relevant stakeholders involved in Environment, Social and Human Rights, Petroleum Industry, government and various media houses were invited to dialogue and proffer solutions on enshrining Environmental, Social, and Human Rights on EIA Policies and legal framework in Nigeria.

1.7. Participation
A total of 35 participants were in attendance. This included government agencies like Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Department of Petroleum Resourcing (DPR), NOSDRA, National Human Rights Commission and NNPC. The media, Civil Society Organisations, CORDAID, PWYP Coordinators and staff were also present.


 Arrival and Registration of Participants
The Consultative meeting commenced at about 10am with registration of participants.

Introduction of Participants
At the commencement of the Consultative meeting, Mr. Paul Ogwu the Programs Manager, PWYP Nigeria welcomed all in attendance as he introduced Barrister Chima Williams as the moderator of the meeting. Barr Chima Williams called for participants to introduce themselves for all participants to know each other’s name and the organization they represented.

Opening Speech
Mr. Peter Egbule, the National Coordinator of PWYP Nigeria gave the opening speech. In his opening speech, he thanked everyone for coming and encouraged all participants to speak up sincerely during the meeting in the interest of Nigeria. He also noted that having a holistic Impact Assessment policy and framework for Nigeria is necessary towards building a more habitable society.

Mr. Hussaini Ali, the General Manager, Group Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Department of the NNPC gave his goodwill message on behalf of the NNPC. In his goodwill message, he said that this consultative meeting was apt and a welcome development for all participants to look into the aspects of human rights as it affects the activities and projects undertaken in the Oil and Gas industry. He noted that the issue of environmental, social and health impact assessments, which the oil and gas industry routinely uses to evaluate projects and activities basically provides an introduction to human rights and their relevance to the activities of the oil and gas industry, and briefly describes why it is important for the oil and gas industry to consider the impact that its projects and activities have on human rights. He also noted that just recently, during the House of Representatives public hearing on the amendment of Environmental Impact Assessment Bill, NNPC raised some key concerns concerning the amendments. The concerns ranged from the nomenclature of the bill as it concerns DPR and Federal Ministry of Environment and their overlapping functions (multiple regulations and certification), issues of report formats, technical review documentation and non-inclusion of construction of mega stations (land/floating) and retail outlets. All these considerations significantly affect humans and there is need for total consideration of such issues that affects humans in the bill. He concluded his goodwill message by assuring participants that NNPC will support any action towards the protection of human life and preservation of the environment as enshrined in its HSE Policy.

There was also a Goodwill message from Mr. Tolase Olatinwo of CORDAID, as he gave a brief background of the project, CORDAID collaboration with PWYP and he wished all participants a fruitful deliberation.

There were no more goodwill messages as participants from other MDAs declined to give goodwill messages on the grounds that they had no directives from their Ministries.

There were intensive deliberations on Social Human Rights Impact Assessment in the EIA Policy and legal framework in Nigeria. All the major stakeholders represented at the meeting appreciated the opportunity that PWYP provided for a robust discussion with open minds on the challenges faced in the EIA process and what can be done to have a more encompassing EIA process that is in tune with present realities and that is implementation friendly. The following were points noted from the discussions:

4.1 There was an agreement that the ongoing amendment of the EIA act by the NASS presents a very unique opportunity that should be utilized to achieve this objective.
4.2 It was pointed out that collaborative synergies among the key stakeholders will be very essential in this regard, as the various agencies can bring in their individual strengths to bear on the process to achieve desired results.
4.3 Stakeholders agreed that inter agency rivalry is one of the key constraints to an effective EIA process and implementation, and that we should strive for a single EIA process with inputs from all the concerned MDA’s in which their fears are placed on the table, discussed and agreed on to arrive at a win-win situation where no agency feels short-changed or left behind.
4.4 It was also agreed by participants that a situation where implementation of the EIA is dependent on the proponent corporate entity for logistics and funds is not healthy to achieving desired objective. A process must be found in which the process will be driven independent of funds from the proponent entity.
4.5 Participants were of the opinion that the EIA Department of Federal ministry of Environment should be funded and given a budget to facilitate the EIA process in Nigeria rather than the proponent facilitating.
4.6 Participants were also of the opinion that there should be an MoU between the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in implementation of EIA process just as there is with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
4.7 The need for the Federal Ministry of Environment to review the strategy for the public review of the EIA report, e.g. the use of animations/3-D videos instead of bulky reports, was presented.
4.8 There was an expressed need to engage independent bodies to jointly review the EIA.
4.9 Another suggestion was the idea that the community should be given part-ownership of any project sited in their community. About 5% ownership of the project was muted.
4.10 The addition of Climate Change issues into the advocacy for Social, Human Rights Assessment for sustainability of project and its benefits to the community was also considered.
4.11 There was also the deliberation on how to ensure that projects have sustained EIA, provide jobs, create food security and become all inclusive, in accordance with the Paris agreement of UNFCCC.



The following are observations and recommendations proffered at the end of the meeting:

5.1. Persons with disabilities are excluded in the EIA Process including employment and mitigation. The new EIA Act under review should address this gap and also deal with gender issues.

5.2. It was suggested that a copy of the summarized version of the EIA Reports should be made available to communities where it is conducted. In essence, EIA reports should be sent to the affected communities to get their feedback since it affects them.

5.3. It was agreed that a working group where all the key Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) and other key stakeholders be put in place to drive the EIA Amendments process and to equally resolve other grey areas of inter MDA collaborations.

5.4. The stakeholders meeting agreed that human rights should be integrated into impact assessment to reduce conflicts with communities and other interests.

5.5. It was established that the National Human Rights Commission should be carried along by relevant stakeholders on issues that are centered on human rights.


Mr. Tolase Olatinwo of CORDAID conducted a perception survey on the issue. This was an online polling system where participants logged into an online platform where a live survey was taken on issues related to enshrining Environmental Social Human Rights issues into Nigerian EIA Policies and Legal Framework. The online poll gave instant graphical representation of responses from the participants to the survey questions.


The Multi-stakeholders meeting on Environmental Social Human Rights Impact Assessment in Nigeria came to a conclusion on a very good note as all stakeholders in attendance unanimously agreed that there was a serious need to advocate for enshrining Environmental Social Human Rights issues in the EIA policies and legal framework in Nigeria with each stakeholder agreeing that they will do their best within their organizations to advocate and promote Human Rights issues in their various capacities.

Mr. Kayode Fayemi, the Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, has joined Nigeria’s civil society organizations, and the mining host communities in their demand for the states to have major control over the solid minerals deposit in the state.

At the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State fifth annual lecture, Mr. Fayemi asked the Nigerian state to remove mining from the exclusive list to concurrent list. He argued, when this happens, it will create all the necessary mechanisms for the states to play more prominent roles in mining exploration in Nigeria.

One of the key reforms in the extractive sector will be to address the legislation that has constituted an impediment to robust extractive sector development in Nigeria, which has over the years denied the states opportunity to actively participate in the sector.

As we push for extractive sector overhaul, the federating states involvement in the administration of mineral titles becomes most fundamental.  The state bears the brunt impact of resource exploitation, and if not allowed to actively participate will grossly affect growth of the extractive sector.

By November 27, 2017, Mr. Muda Yussuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, complementing Mr. Fayemi, appealed to the National Assembly to review the law to allow mining to be removed from exclusive list to concurrent list.

He argued, at the moment, the royalty from mining goes to the Federal Government and if that continues, states will not generate the needed revenue from mining. And, domiciling miming in the concurrent list will give state opportunity for active participation and revenue generation.

Besides addressing the legislation, the federal government is putting in place policies that will address illegal mining. And this it will do through bringing artisans and informal miners under one umbrella.

As the state pushes for legislation that will address the bottleneck in the mining sector, we also ask that the legislation must make provisions for mining revenues accountability. And we consider the accountability aspect the most central.

It is uncommon for Publish What You Pay to delve into elections and politics, and obviously many will be surprised to see us do that.  But, in reality, there is a strong relationship between economics and politics, and the performance of the state economy is dependent on the political foundation of the state.

Nigeria relies on (natural resource) oil and gas for more than 95 percent of her revenues, and these revenues are shared among states to be managed on behalf of the citizens in trust for citizens’ welfare. This means that our economic determinism is dependent on the allocation and utilization of the revenues from oil and gas. And politics becomes a fulcrum where all the process takes place, you now understand why it is inevitable for PWYP to focus on politics and governance which is the sole determinant of how state resources are shared and utilized.

In spite the huge revenues from oil and gas, for us to begin to see development, Nigeria must be a developmental state that acts proactively to transform the economy and the state. And that has to be done within the democratic setting which is the framework within which we operate. Unfortunately, our politics at the moment is too confrontational and there is urgent requirement to find a means of transforming our politics to one that gives consensus to development priorities that could transform our economies and the state.  Our ability to lead the developmental process, direct our affairs, build a strong institution and public sector, create a space for civil society organizations and build the capacity of our citizens to engage governance will be major determinant factors for measuring our readiness for development.

As we push for natural resource accountability which is shaped by our politics and governance, we must remodel our pattern of the political process. It is fundamental to do that because, at the moment, our political parties are not engaging the citizens and they are essentially “periodic vote gathering organizations”. We do not have any democratic structures within which we have debates on the problems facing us and about the choices that needed to be made. Our political parties are not people were driven, their ability to understand what is happening in our society is weak and that translates into weak and unfocused governance. There is no other platform to negotiate our wellbeing and define how our natural resource revenues will be managed for citizens’ benefit other than our current democratic platform.

In a Democracy, when elections are freely contested and participation is all-encompassing and citizens benefit from political liberties, then the government will act in the best interest of its people.  And if election serves to hold government accountable for the consequence of its past deed, then the predictions of voter’s judgment, will compel those in charge of the state affairs to choose policies that will be optimistically evaluated in their favour by citizens in the subsequent elections. In a democracy, voters education and enhancing citizens knowledge is central, because, if they do not have the knowledge and capacity to evaluate the incumbent government, the threat of not being re-elected will not be adequate to persuade the incumbent government to act in the best interest of the people.

As we go into a periodic election, which is an integral part of democracy, it is important to take into consideration the capacity of those that occupy public office which is a reflection of state capacity in itself. And the evaluation of the political leadership must be done by the citizens, which periodic elections present the opportunity for citizens to vote out none-performing government.

However, the current trend where elections are not won on basis of citizens’ evaluation and ballots are cast based on that is worrisome. The rolling wheel of money bags across all pooling boots on Election Day, bargaining and the voters cast their votes in favour of a political party that pays the highest amount is a dangerous trend. This no doubt erodes accountability in governance, it makes a mockery and threatens our democracy.

For instance, in the November 18th, 2017 Anambra state governorship election, election observers expressed concern over vote buying and inducement of voters and security agencies by political parties in order to garner votes. Mr. Clement Nwankwo, Convener of Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, noted this trend in a report.

In Edo state governorship election, the Alliance for Credible Election raised concerns over unprecedented vote buying by major parties and politicians. Mr. Mma Odi, the General Secretary disclosed at the presentation of their election audit report. In these practices, voters and politicians trade votes openly violating the secrecy of ballots system.

This emerging trend in our election must be halted immediately, and we are aware there are electoral laws regulating elections in Nigeria, the question is, what has happened to those laws. If our elections are allowed to be a product of trade “cash-and-carry democracy” we are in a dire problem. This is not only antithetical to democratic tradition but creates a situation where the ruling elites cannot be accountable to the people. To them, it will be all about trading and we cannot ask for accountability that seems to have been bought on Election Day.

The citizens must immediately rise to address this trend, and in doing that, they must ask for the criminalization of the practice. The provisions of the Electoral Act must be immediately activated to punish those found culpable. Our political education must be broadened and intensified, voters must be made to understand their rights and that their votes are the power they have to hold government accountable. They need to know that ballot is like fundamental right that cannot be sold in exchange for money.

In advanced capitalist society, nobody is above the law, the ruling class with the instrumentality of state mechanisms punishes anybody that violates the law no matter your class status. However, in our case, the ruling class circumvents the law with impunity and the masses helping them to achieve such unimaginable recalcitrant. This must stop.

The arguments point at poverty to justify ballots buying, yes we need to fight poverty, we also need to understand some are not poor but are driven by greed, and what this class people need is political education and re-orientation. Addressing the challenge of ballots buying is not dependent on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other relevant agencies alone, but purely dependent on good leadership and citizens capacity to negotiate their future via the instrumentality of the ballots.

Therefore, periodic elections which democracy affords us must be the citizens’ mechanism to compel the ruling class to be accountable. And when this happens, the political elite knows their ability to win an election is dependent on the citizens’ evaluation of their past performance and not based on who spends the highest amount of monies on ballot buying on Election Day.

The citizens must realize, if the political class were to be accountable and utilizes the monies for their welfare, there will be no monies to buy ballots on Election Day.  And, the people will vote according to their evaluation of the party performance. And when that happens, accountability is guaranteed. Thus, as we ride on our democracy journey, the citizens must choose their leaders based on capacity and not the outcome of ballot buying.

It is important to note that in Nigeria, the focus on vote buying seems to be narrowed down to what happens on the Election Day, but that is not correct.  Vote buying happens throughout the electoral cycle, voter registration, party candidate nomination, electioneering and Election Day. In virtually all the party primaries in Nigeria, the person that wins the party ticket is the one that gives the highest amount of money to the delegates in exchange for their votes. Once nominated as party delegate primaries in Nigeria, you can be sure of making millions in few days.

For instance, at the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential primaries that took place at Lagos  in preparation for the 2015 elections, delegates who participated in the election were alleged to have made US$5,000 each from the party ticket aspirants. The Atiku group were alleged to have given the delegates US$2,000 each while Buhari group gave US$3,000. Over 8,000 delegates were reported to have participated in the primaries when you sum the monies that were given out, both camps would have spent over US$16 million and US$24 million respectively on vote buying at the primary stage alone.

It is not true that the practice of vote buying has persisted in Nigeria as a result of inadequate laws, but, we have simply refused to enforce the laws. We must know, if this continues, it heightens election cost, allows for wrong candidates to emerge and run political offices. And the implication is that government accountability will be eroded while the political leaders divert revenues from our natural resources leaving the citizens in  poverty, hunger and miserable state.

Audu Liberty Oseni, PWYP-Nigeria

The leaks in the Snowden revelations, Panama and Paradise papers shows clearly a global corruption network. This gives rise to global poverty and inequality while the privileged few particularly the elite loot and hide their assets.

From the leaks, it becomes clear, keeping legal loopholes for these tax havens is not only unethical but offers only an economic benefit to those hiding their money away from regulators and tax authorities. These acts although may not necessarily be illegal but has lots of moral burdens especially for legitimate elites but is reprehensible for tax dodgers, criminal elements, rent seekers and kleptomaniacs. Therefore, transparency and accountability stakeholders and advocates would need to start a long journey to surmount this glaring tumor of tax heavens.

Illicit financial flows and leakages on taxes havens have exposed the secrets of the elites and also the level of intrigues in the global financial outlays. Since the WikiLeaks, there has been growing leaks that have shown the outer outlays of our modern financial architecture.  The Offshore Leaks Database includes information from close to 500,000 additional offshore entities scattered all over the world.

The revelations of the recent leaks Paradise papers came as more than 380 journalists from 96 media organizations in 67 countries looked at leaked data obtained by German newspaper, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) from two offshore secrecy providers (Appleby and Asiaciti Trust) and 19 secrecy jurisdictions around the world. The leaked 1.4 terabyte data, now called Paradise Papers, contains 13.4 million records. A huge data.

In addition to the Paradise Papers, the database also includes information on more than 100,000 entities that come from Offshore Leaks, more than 210,000 entities from Panama Papers and more than 175,000 from Bahamas Leaks and more than 120 politicians and country leaders, in nearly 50 countries as well as hundreds of business people across the world were identified in the record as users of offshore entities. These also expose the tax engineering of more than 100 multinational corporations, including Apple, Nike, and Botox-maker Allergan.

In Africa, the Paradise Papers point at six powerful politicians and businesspersons in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, and Uganda. In the extractives, the most important revelations show the light on secretive deals and hidden companies connected to Glencore, the world’s largest commodity trader, and provides detailed accounts of the company’s negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo for valuable mineral resources.

Africa loses USD 80 billion annually through Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs). Furthermore, the Paradise papers confirm the findings of the High-Level Panel on IFFs of harmful business practices that undermine the integrity of institutions, laws, and policies aimed at improving tax revenue collection in Africa.

For Nigeria, Mr. Emefiele, the Nigeria’s  Central Bank Governor and Jim Ovia, the former Zenith Bank Chairman,  between 2007 and 2012, incorporated three offshore entities in tax havens, which were used to acquire luxury jets and move funds around in cyclical manners that suggested tax avoidance.

Tax experts and journalists believe, the leasing schemes adopted for these transactions were structured to avoid tax – £10,892,166 in total. Tenia Company Limited registered BY Saka Tinubu with operation in the Cayman Islands in April 2001 linked to Mr. Bukola Saraki, the Nigeria’s Senate President was mentioned in Panama papers

Revelations from the leaks have led to pragmatic actions by some states in the west to punish those exposed, while Nigeria and other Africa countries are yet to punish their citizens mentioned in all the leaks. In view of that, we need to galvanize forces to end or reduce the practice of tax havens particularly in British and the US territories which are most conducive for the culprits. We urge and expect these countries to take the lead in addressing the tax heavens practices. And when this happens, it will reduce the huge amount of monies taken offshore from both the advanced economies and Africa’s struggling economies.

Besides poverty and inequality which tax havens have fuelled over time, the operations of Tax of havens has a great huge moral and financial burden which must be stopped immediately. 

Ogwu Paul Okwuchukwu, PWYP Nigeria

The novel Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) audit report has shown Nigeria’s rise in the Solid Minerals earnings. Going by the report, N69.2bn was the revenues Nigeria got from solid minerals in 2015. This represents 25% addition of the N55.8bn revenues from solid minerals in 2014.

The report further disclosed Nigeria production of solid minerals in 2015 was 39.27 million tonnes. This shows a downward of 17% from the 47.1 million tonnes that were in early 2017.

Cement manufacturing companies’ lead in revenue generation in solid minerals, contributing more than 60%. Also, construction and mining companies pulled a string by contributing about 31% and 8 % respectively.

The National Bureau of Statistics report on the States Disaggregated Mining and Quarrying Data for 2016 shows by 2015, Osun state came top in solid minerals production with 36%, while Ogun, Kogi, Cross River states and the Federal Capital Territory contributed 70% production.

In 2015, Nigeria generated $9.733m revenues from solid minerals’ exports. This was 1.45% of the non-oil exports for the said year.

In the report, lead and zinc came top with 79%, valued at $7.7million; and 175 gold, costing at $122,000million.

Also, in 2015, revenues from solid minerals accounted for 0.12% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This was a minimal rise from 0.01% of the 0.11% recorded in 2014.

As at 2015, 4,305 mineral titles were valid. And in this, mining lease had 204 titles, 657 for small-scale mining; 1,865 for quarrying licenses and that of exploration licenses was for 1,579.

Improvement in tax collection and the review of royalty rates paid by companies were some of the core factors that led to increases in revenues in the sector the report shows.

By 2011 NEITI had carried out a study in solid minerals, this was followed by an independent audit of the solid minerals sector in 2012, covering 2007 to 2010. The audit reports show that Nigeria generated N271.77bn revenues from solid minerals in the periods of 2007 and 2015.

Glad to see Nigeria make a good effort in opening up her solid minerals sector, however, it is important for the state to make the needed investment in the sector. And in that way, the success made will be sustained. One of the ways to go is to immediately release the N30bn Solid Minerals Development Fund that has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, which NEITI recommended in its report.

Apart from insufficient funding affecting the sector, insecurity, and difficulty in getting mining license are some of the major factors that have adverse effect on the solid minerals sector. Therefore, it is important the state immediately address the difficulty in getting mining license and address insecurity especially in the rural community that often hosts mining sites.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) came into being in 2003, with the core aim to lessen corruption and enhance accountability for the proficient use of extractive revenues. With support from the World Bank, oil producing countries, International Oil Companies and investors converged and set principles for transparency in the oil and gas sector known as the EITI standards. And, in these standards, countries that have signed on to them have agreed to make available data on natural resource revenue to the public and to EITI. Conversely, companies who are EITI membership are to make available information on government payments. This is primarily to step up accountability in the natural resource revenue. Interestingly, by 2014, 48 countries had implemented EITI standards while over 237 reports published.

Good as this initiative sounds, on the 2nd day of November 2017, America announced her withdrawal from EITI. Apart from this action denying Americans’ access to public disclosure, it has political implications for Africa and the entire EITI.

Prior to the withdrawal, America has had the decision to exclude section 1504 Dodd-Frank Act that seeks to make it a mandatory disclosure of project level payment data by extractive companies. However, the state action on EITI and Dodd-Frank shows clearly, the giant oil companies continue to win. Chevron and Exxon Mobil who are major oil companies made no pretense in their campaign against EITI standards. It is most worrisome that these companies are represented on the EITI international board. The question becomes, why take part in the process you do not believe in.

The US exit poses the question, do most countries particularly in Africa voluntarily sign on to international instruments and treaties or they are superimposed on them. The neo-colonial states had consistently accused Europe and North-America of imposing treaties and instruments on them even when they are not ready to be abided by such initiatives.

By this exit, US justifies Africa neo-colonial states position that the west does not recognize and value international instruments that are of Africa interest and benefit. The US action no doubt has a huge implication in extractive transparency campaigns that have been done by civil society organizations at the local, national, regional, continental and the international levels.

It is a logical imbalance for America to help in convincing African states to join as EITI countries, six years down the line she threw in the towel and left EITI.  US in defending her action, claims she has municipal laws that make it impossible for EITI implementation in the country. I do not know what they mean by municipal laws impediment, but one would have expected US, an advanced society to subject those laws to a national debate. And when that is done, some of the laws that are not in conformity with EITI principles will be reviewed. Yes, we know US can do this, but she simply refused in search for justification to pull out using the municipal law as an excuse.

At her exit, US promised, she will continue giving all necessary support for the EITI implementation. What US knows and blatantly refused to accept is that her withdrawal from EITI undermines the entire initiative. This action will further plunder Africa back to the Dark Age in the struggle for mandatory disclosure. This is more likely as most African leaders look at US as infallible and tend to copy her actions and state policies.

More worrisome is that US exit affirms the vulnerability of initiatives targeted to extractive transparency. And this further shows states can withdraw from international instruments, treaties and initiative and rely on their local policies and laws to justify their action. For instance, in spite the civil society involvement, Tanzania not quite long withdrew from Open Government Partnership (OGP).

Time has come for the civil society organizations to stand up in the defense of EITI. We do not expect US, an advanced capitalist state to continue her support for EITI. The US assault on the values of EITI is simply the internal contradiction of capitalist crisis and the global quest for state superiority.

Now, as we struggle for extractive transparency in Africa, it is important we know, resist and make sure our demand for extractive resource transparency cannot be completely outsourced to international initiatives. In Africa, we must develop a local initiative that must strengthen national laws, national institutions and create a huge space for civic engagement for CSOs and citizens to play a key role in ensuring extractive transparency in spite the global perception of EITI arising from US exit.

Africans deserve better than to rely on the goodwill of the west to achieve transparency and accountability in her resources governance. We must come to a consensus while exploring natural resources can bring wealth, transparency legislation is fundamental to ensuring that the citizens aren’t shortchanged, we must not as Africans give up our natural resource benefit to tax-evading multi-nationals only to gain nothing in return.

Since 2002, US has actively involved in the EITI and has through her State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development invested over $30 million to support EITI and helping developing countries in the EITI implementation. The US sudden withdrawal throws the burden on Africa to see if we can indeed make any meaningful progress without the West dictating and setting standards for us to follow. We believe this is an invitation for us to set and follow our own standards.

As we ponder on why the US exit, we must remember that both ExxonMobil and Chevron, both of them US oil giant have frantically opposed EITI and the Dodd-Frank Act. Both companies have refused to disclose taxes they have paid to the American government. They argue it is illegal for them to do so. This will no doubt make us understand why US is not keen on supporting EITI.

Obviously, US withdrawal from EITI poses a huge implication to resource-rich African countries, particularly when some countries, Zimbabwe, for instance, is yet to become an EITI country.  We had expected US a global power to show exemplary in helping in achieving extractive transparency, but unfortunately, that was not what we got.

With the America withdrawal, EITI countries, particularly in Africa, need to work harder to sustain the EITI success stories. We must have a radical departure and move beyond good will and intentions. No doubt, EITI has impacted enormously in the extractive transparency and accountability, but we need to show that to the world. And when that happens, America is likely to realize, EITI is in the best interest of all natural resource countries and US inclusive.

Audu Liberty Oseni, PWYP-Nigeria