The Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) and other stakeholders in the extractive industry urged media practitioners especially those covering the extractive sector. This message was handed down during the official launch of the Extractive360.com, a specialised news website that covers the extractive industry, in Abuja on Thursday. Extractive360.com is a web-based publication which provides factual, reliable and up-to-date reports on issues within Nigeria’s extractive industries as well as related development across the world’s extractive industries and markets.
The event which attracted stakeholders in the sector was well attended. The NNRC represented by its Program Coordinator, Ms. Tengi George-Okoli said that the need for more professionalism in reporting the extractive sector cannot be overemphasized because the populace needs to be better informed to be able to hold the government accountable. She therefore urged the managers of the site not to relent in the task of factual information dissemination and promised that the NNRC will always work with them to help educate and enlighten the public on the need to push for reforms in the oil and gas industry.
Speaking in similar vein, Ms Murjanatu Gawa, Country Manager Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), said the platform would serve as avenue to evaluate Nigerian activities in the sector.“You must get things done right, the site should be a good platform for Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and others, to disseminate information on happening in the sector,” she said.According to her, transparency should be key in the management of the site.“Transparency in the extractive industry is every important for the growth and development of Nigeria.We will support any institution that champions transparency.”
The former spokesman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Ohi Aligbe, said the manager must be ready to face attacks in the course of managing the site.“But that should not make you to subdue professionalism. You must maintain the ethics of the profession and stick to the truth always, he said, warning that they should never compromise principles and always remain focused.The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Mr Waziri Adio, urged the managers to use the platform to hold government accountable, adding that the platform must be known for credibility and must meet all standards.
Responding, the Editor of the site, Ms Juliet Alohan, said Extractive360.com was conceived and set up for Nigerians to consistently gain good knowledge and information about the everyday workings of the country’s extractive industries.“Since the establishment of the site, we have consistently ensured credibility and objectivity of our reports”. Continuing, she said that “we tell the stories in ways that the everyday citizen can understand and relate to, sometimes using infographics and pictures to drive the message home”.
She said that it was industry specific, adding that visitors did not have to filter through different categories of news like sports, politics and entertainment to get to extractive related reports.
“We have over the last one year recorded about 117, 293 unique visitors to the site. With the hundreds of feedbacks from them, we are assured that we are doing the right things and pushing the frontiers of credible reporting further”. She concluded by assuring stakeholders that Extractive 360 is a distinct and credible platform, and will remain so.