By Emmanuella Anokam
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has begun national sensitisation to deepen stakeholders’ engagement for validation of Nigeria’s compliance to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standard.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria is due for the global validation in Jan. 2023.
Dr Ogbonanya Orji, Executive Secretary, NEITI who said this on Tuesday in Abuja at its Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and media engagement on EITI validation noted that the action would be conducted using 2019 EITI standard.
NAN also reports that EITI sets global standard for contract transparency in the extractive industries to make natural resources benefit all and strengthen governance.
EITI validation, which is conducted every three years is a quality assurance mechanism to ascertain level of compliance and progress in implementing its standards among member countries, including Nigeria.
Orji recalled that on Feb. 27, 2019, EITI board proclaimed that Nigeria made “satisfactory progress” over its implementation of its standard after undergoing rigorous validation at the time under the 2016 EITI standard.
He said it implied that Nigeria was due for another round of validation in Feb. 2022, but due to scheduling issues, the global body shifted the date to Jan. 2023.
According to him, NEITI is only a platform to guide Nigeria’s assessment and had since swung into action to prepare Nigeria for this global governance exercise in the oil, gas and mining sectors.
He said NEITI had developed a plan of action to prepare other stakeholders including its staff and board for the exercise based on what Nigeria had accomplished as EITI member country during the period under review.
“The NEITI management team had undergone training on the new validation model and constituted two separate committees -the Validation Committee and Shadow Validation Committee.
“The validation Committee is made up of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) with the Secretariat currently providing technical support.
“Nigeria through NEITI is therefore ready to show case outstanding accomplishments which the EITI implementation has made possible in Nigeria’s extractive sector reform,” he said.
He listed some of the milestones achieved by EITI/NEITI in Nigeria to include up to date regular reporting, as well as available political will.
They also include government support and strong partnership with the legislature on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) implementation.
He listed others as the unbundling of NNPC and its becoming EITI supporting company, publishing of Annual Financial Reports as well as strong CSOs partnership based on MoU.
Others, according to him are promotion and preservation of civic space, NEITI- Companies’ Forum, increasing demand, easy access and availability of verified information and data in the public domain.
In a remark, Mr Peter Egbule, Member, NSWG and Communications and Civil Society Steering Committee said though validation process had started internally, the team from EITI Secretariat would be Nigeria in November 2022 to asses Nigeria’s readiness.
He emphasised the need for Nigeria to improve on its engagement for interaction with the international body.
Dr Dieter Bassi, Director, Technical, NEITI also highlighted some requirements under the EITI 2019 standard.
Bassi said the standard required oversight by NSWG, disclosures of information related to exploration, production and export, legal framework, fiscal regime and comprehensive disclosures of companies revenues. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani