An engagement meeting with the Ministry of Solid Minerals, Oil and Gas, held on Friday 30th of April 2018 at the Commissioner’s office in Benin. Led by ANEEJ Executive Director, Rev David Ugolor, there were a total number of thirteen persons in attendance: 4 from ANEEJ, 5 from the Ministry and 4 from Media. The Honourable commissioner of the Ministry, Hon. Joseph Ugheoke, together with the permanent secretary, Mrs Itohan Obayangbon, directors and staff were on ground to receive ANEEJ.
The purpose of the ANEEJ visit was to urge the Honourable Commissioner to facilitate the reopening and the functionality of the EDSOGPADEC website. Part of the visit as well was to discuss how the Ministry could participate in ANEEJ Niger Delta Institution Transparency Index, NDITI. The ANEEJ visitors sought to discuss the reconstitution of the EDSOGPADEC board.
In an address by ANEEJ Executive Director, the Rev David Ugolor, he commended the Ministry and EDSOGPADEC for their strong interest in the implementation of the USAID/SACE project. He called on the ministry to make efforts towards the reconstitution of the EDSOGPADEC board so as to make it run effectively.
The Rev Ugolor also urged the Commissioner to re-open the EDSOGPADEC website and make information about the commission’s activities available and on the Niger-Delta Institutions Transparency Index platform.
The Commissioner response/commitment;
Hon. Joseph Ugheoke thanked ANEEJ and said: “It is no news that ANEEJ has been working in Edo State. But we will have to take the level of cooperation between ANEEJ and EDSOGPADEC to the next level’.
Key highlights of the Honourable Commissioner’s response included the following:
- The re-opening of the EDSOGPADEC website within the week. He stated that openness and access to information is one of objective of the Edo government and so information about the commission will be made available to any member of the public.
- With regards to the EDSOGPADEC Board, the Commissioner said that the Edo state government has started making consultations with various interest groups in the oil producing communities. Continuing, he said that the desire of the state government is for the new board to make improvement beyond the former board. According to the Commissioner, a committee has been assigned to review the needs assessment of projects that was implemented by the former board. He said that the audit report is ready and has been presented to the governor for further action.
- The Commissioner also reiterated the need for a meeting with the EDSOGPADEC permanent Secretary, Heads of Departments, the Ministry of Oil, Gas and Solid Minerals and with ANEEJ as a follow up to all the issues raised and commitments made.
- The commissioner has officially invited ANEEJ to be part of the project monitoring team that will monitor completed project in the next two weeks in the state.