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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has vowed to assist in the development of mining host communities’ capacity to negotiate better community development agreements with mining corporations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, NEITI’s Executive Secretary, made the pledge during a visit by the Centre for Transparency Advocacy, CTA. He said that having a good understanding of contract negotiation would help mining host communities reach sustainable Community Development Agreements with mining companies.
Dr. Orji emphasized the necessity of establishing clear contracts between communities and businesses, saying that it would allow communities to benefit from the activity of businesses in their region while also providing businesses with a favorable climate in which to operate.
In his words, “NEITI is very available to discuss issues concerning community development agreements and contract transparency that will help communities draft community development agreements that address their concerns in terms of roads, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure when the companies blast stones.
“A good agreement is easy for citizens to buy into and we are here to support such noble goals and processes that address such issues. We are here to make sure these companies are sensitive to their corporate social responsibilities that will help address development gaps in the mining communities.”
Earlier, Faith Nwadishi, CTA’s Executive Director, noted that a survey performed by the organization as part of an initiative to promote the cultural values and rights of the FCT’s original occupants found that most community members are unaware of the community development agreement.