The International Secretariat of the global Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) has congratulated Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji on his appointment as the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

This is conveyed in a message from the Executive Director and Head of the International Secretariat based in Oslo, Norway – Mr Mark Robinson, who welcomed the appointment with excitement and pledged closer EITI working relationship with Nigeria under Dr. Orji’s leadership of NEITI.

Similarly, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari believes that Dr. Orji’s unwavering quest and commitment to promoting transparency and accountability in natural resource governance is an asset that will help him in his new role. He reaffirmed the commitment of the NNPC to working closer with NEITI under Dr Orji especially in the implementation of the recommendations of the NNPC-NEITI joint committee on remediation.

Elsewhere, the Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu conveyed the appreciation of the people of Abia North Senatorial district in Abia State to the President on the appointment. Sen. Kalu assured the President that Dr. Orji is a seasoned professional with amazing leadership qualities.

The Honourable Member representing Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu Federal Constituency, Dr. Francis Ottah Agbo, in his congratulatory message noted that “he has no doubt that Orji will use his experience as a journalist and an administrator to reposition the organisation to effectively ensure transparency and accountability in the country’s oil, gas and mining industries”. The Lawmaker who is the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Narcotic Drugs, described Dr. Orji “as a journalist who rose through the ranks to an enviable position at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) before joining NEITI where he has risen to head the organisation”.

Leading civil society organizations in the extractive industry have also backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of Dr Orji to lead NEITI. The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) described the appointment as suitable and outstanding given Dr. Orji’s diverse experience in resource governance and public service. CISLAC Executive Director Auwal Musa Rafsanjani expressed the hope that Dr. Orji’s appointment will help hasten the process of re-composition of NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) by the President.

The National Coordinator of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) in Nigeria, a major civil society organization in EITI process, Mr Peter Egbule described Dr. Orji’s appointment as sound judgement by President Buhari which is driven by merit, competence and integrity. They appealed to the President to reconstitute the NEITI Board in addition to this laudable decision.