"Everytime you take a decision,
you are determning your future"
My Four-Year National Service on The Board of NEITI
On Friday, January 27, 2012, I completed my national assignment as a Board member of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Nigerian subset of a global initiative aimed at following due process and achieving transparency in payments by Extractive Industry (EI) companies to governments of member states.
NEITI is saddled with ensuring accountability in the oil and gas sector as well as the solid mineral sector. In other words, it is assigned oversight functions of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry as well as the mineral sector. In addition, it monitors the management of Government investments in joint ventures as well as the use and disbursement of receipts from Nigeria’s extractive industries by the federal and state governments. It is such a critical organisation to the Nigerian economy and has performed comprehensive audits (physical and financial) of the Nigerian oil industry. The audit report, including a condensed version, is available on the NEITI website (www.neiti.org.ng). Please download. (NEITI commissioned an audit for the solid mineral industry as well; a first of its kind).
It follows that NEITI is at the critical juncture of public debate on the revenue flows and use of receipts from our principal patrimony – oil and gas. It seeks to give the public tools, facts and statistics to make assessments. Events in the country are a validation of the work of NEITI.
As can be expected, serving on such a Board is grueling. My four-year tenure was, to say the least, enormously tasking. Without patriotism, energy, dedication and passion, one cannot serve on the Board of NEITI. It requires so much sacrifice.
I served as Chairman of the Communications Committee as well as Chairman of the Board Tender Committee. I also served as a member of the core organ, the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F & GPC). These are three critical committees of the Board. (There were other assignments conferred on me by the Board – including overseeing the selection process for the Director General of the organisation).
As a mark of my patriotism, I requested my company, Alder Consulting, to donate to Nigeria, the redesign and standardisation of the NEITI logo, letterhead, business card and some other corporate function materials. We also donated strategy on the marketing of NEITI and its publications. We brought innovation to bear on the new NEITI logo by making the “T” in NEITI green to signify the appropriation of the principles of transparency and accountability in Nigeria. This modification was accepted by the international body and the model has since been adopted for other nations. I do want to thank the staff of Alder Consulting for their support while I served on the Board of this critical organisation.
In the course of service, I met and made friends with eminent and supremely patriotic Nigerians across many sectors: oil and gas, trade union organisations, civil society groups, finance, manufacturing etc. Members of this Board were drawn from across religious and ethnic divides and we worked most harmoniously to deliver on our national assignment. Just goes to show that religion and ethnicity are not in themselves Nigeria’s problem, but a negative manipulation of these factors is.
We are leaving behind, a sound institution with built up capacity as well as a legacy of integrity. During our tenure, we achieved for Nigeria “validation” and “compliant status”. That means that Nigeria is adjudged as very committed to the principles of accountability and has put in place credible structures and processes to battle endemic corruption in the extractive industries. Only 12 nations in the world are accredited with this badge of honour, while 23 others are at the preliminary stages.
There are many other notable achievements including the successful completion of two audits spanning 1999 – 2004, and 2005, as well as the initiation of the next set of audits.
I do know I have put in my best and my all, many times going over and above the call of duty. (I also facilitated a workshop for the Secretariat free of charge). I want to thank NEITI for all the support.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Friday, January 27, 2012