REPORT OF PUBLISH WHAT YOU PAY (PWYP), NIGERIA 2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
THEME: REPOSITIONING PWYP COALITION FOR VISION 2025 AND CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE (EITI) PROCESS
DATE: 4TH TO 6TH OF AUGUST, 2021
VENUE: VICHI GATES HOTEL AND SUITES, KADO, ABUJA.
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.
ADOPTION OF AGM AGENDA
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.
THE NEXUS BETWEEN CONTRACT TRANSPARENCY AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN NIGERIA – MICHAEL UZOIGWE (EITI COUNTRY MANAGER, ANGLOPHONE AFRICA)
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]
RESPONSES FROM PRESENTATION
- 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.
PRESENTATION OF RESEARCH REPORT BY SPACES 4 CHANGE
Theme: Benefit-sharing Negotiations between Host Communities and Extractive Companies: A Case Study of ANOH Gas Development Project
SETTING THE AGENDA ON PWYP GOVERNANCE
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.
SETTING THE AGENDA ON PWYP GOVERNANCE
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.
READING OF THE LAST AGM MINUTES
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)
PWYP CONSTITUTION MATTERS
- 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:
- Innocent Adjenughure (South South)-Chairperson
- Comrade Segun Fatoki (South West)
- Comrade Aisha Abdullahi (North Central)
- Mallam Shetima (North East)
- Kingsley Anidiobu (South East)
- Yusuf Arigassiyu (Noth West)
- 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.
PWYP NATIONAL SECRETARIAT
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.