For ages, issues of transparency have dogged Nigeria’s extractive industry. The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) was set up in 2004 to ensure due process, transparency and accountability in payments by the companies and revenue receipts by the federal government. Waziri Onibiyo Adebowale Adio first joined NEITI in 2007. He was appointed the Executive Secretary of NEITI on 23 February 2016. He has contributed to transforming the operations of the agency to become more transparent and accountable.
After completing his higher school certificate in 1986, he proceeded to the University of Lagos in 1988 to study Mass Communications. Adio was the best student in mass communication every year from 100 to 400 levels meaning he got the vice chancellor’s scholarship. He graduated in 1992 nearly with a first class with a cumulative grade point just 0.01 short. While in UNILAG, he was also editor of UNILAG Sun, the University’s newspaper, and Editor of Masscope, the magazine, produced by the mass communication department.
From 1993 to 1995, Waziri Adio was a reporter with TheNews/TEMPO group known for adopting “guerrilla journalism” tactics during the military era. Between 1995 and 2003, Mr. Adio held various editorial positions in Thisday Newspaper and was at one time Special Adviser, Research and Strategy in the office of the Senate President from August 2003 to October 2004. He obtained MSc. Journalism degree from Columbia University, New York, United States of America in 1999. He also holds a masters degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA in 2009.
In 2004, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) appointed him Communication Specialist, a position he held until 2007 when he left to serve as the Director of communications of NEITI. In 2012, he established the all-colour, all-gloss culture magazine, Metropole, based in Abuja.
Shortly after his appointment as the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio declared to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, all the assets – both cash and otherwise – he had acquired in his 23 years of working to press home his desire to transparently.
For his consistent commitment to transparency and accountability, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism awards Mr Waziri Adio the 2018 Anti-corruption Defender of the year.