The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari has said it is not too late to reverse the Rich Resources – Low Development paradox in the nation if only Nigerians embrace an attitudinal rebirth.
Abari spoke while receiving the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Waziri Adio in his office, reiterating the need for positive attitudinal change among Nigerians towards public resources. He said what some view as a curse on Nigeria’s natural resource is actually an attitude problem but called for leaders of extractive industries in the country to show examples of transparency and accountability to their followers, describing leadership as critical to value reorientation.
The NOA boss pledged the Agency’s commitment to working with NEITI in developing programmes, messaging and advocacy on transparency and attitudinal change as they relate to the extractive industries towards public reorientation. He further said NOA will use its numerous platforms, including the Local Government Assembly, to speak to citizens on government policies and programmes, put topical issues in proper perspective and elicit feedback from citizens to government on matters pertaining to the extractive industries.
Earlier, the NEITI Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio said research has shown that, apart from few states, nations who are richly endowed with natural resources have very low development. He however insisted that if natural resources are managed in a transparent, accountable and prudent manner, the people would benefit optimally from it.
Adio decried public attitude to public resources in Nigeria where people expect public office holders to help themselves to public resources, noting that this fuels corruption at all levels. He urged all stakeholders in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, particularly the civil society, to play their roles adequately to ensure that Nigeria’s natural resources work for all Nigerians.