…Seeks partnership with The Sun
By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Nigerian Extractive Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has unveiled plans to automate its data collection and processing mechanism to make its activities more transparent to members of the public.
And to make its activities real-time, the agency would equally plans to roll out interim reports ahead of its yearly reports, which most time, come in arrears.
Executive Secretary of the agency, Mr. Waziri Adio, disclosed this when he led his management team on a courtesy visit to the corporate headquarters of The Sun Publishing Limited, Lagos.
‘‘By the time we begin the publication of our interim reports, we do not need to wait till year end before reports are released. For instance, when the process begins, members of the public can have access to report of quarter one of that particular year because the activities for that period had been concluded,’’ he said
He acknowledged the need to ensure that NEITI audit reports were up to date just as he stated that audits in retrospect equally serve useful purposes because it enables one to track what had taken place in the past and juxtapose it with the present, in order to make informed decision.
Adio said part of the mandate of NEITI was to ensure that oil, gas and mining sector earnings were not shrouded in secrecy, but are open to members of the public, including stakeholders and would be investors.
Adio said it remained worrisome that earnings from these sectors, most time have become a subject of controversy as agencies of government hardly make their books open for members of the public to scrutinize. He said the NEITI would intervene and act as the bridge between the agencies and members of the public.
Adio solicited the support of The Sun Publishing Ltd in giving its activities publicity through the coverage of its events, analysis, and scrutiny of its audit report across all the titles of the newspaper.
The NEITI boss while underscoring the role of the media, especially the vast reach of The Sun, called on the management not to relent as the Voice of the Nation, which the newspaper has strived to maintain in its over 10 years of existence. The rich content and packaging of The Sun titles, according to him, have made the newspaper a leader in the market through the dedication and hard working of the management team.
In his remarks, the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Eric Osagie, said NEITI has been promoting part of the Transparency International initiative.
Osagie who lamented that the leakages in the system were more than they were asking those mismanaging public funds to account for, advised that for the country to move forward, all leakages must be plugged.
He advised NEITI to take advantage of the reach and vast coverage network of The Sun titles to educate the public on what the agency stands for.
‘‘There are many people, even in the media, that do not know what NEITI is all about. And that is where the media comes in; to help you educate the masses because it is only when people know what you do that they can scrutinise your activities and ask questions that can help form the basis of a robust discussion,’’ he said.
The Sun Publishing Ltd boss equally tasked NEITI to make its communication strategy, especially the ones to be exposed in the media, simple and devoid of technical jargons, saying, only then, would the agency be able to ascertain that it has completed the communication cycle.