Following the Satisfactory Progress ranking accorded Nigeria by the global board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Mr. Waziri Adio, says it is a call for more work.
Nigeria, by the ranking became the first Anglophone African country to attain the feat, which is the highest ranking for a member country in implementing all the requirements of the EITI Standard. The decision was announced Wednesday in Kiev, Ukraine, at the 42nd meeting of the EITI Board. The only other African country that has attained this feat is Senegal.
Speaking on the development in Abuja, on Thursday, Adio said satisfactory progress is a desired state, the ranking shows that Nigeria has done all its needs to do in terms of enthroning transparency in the extractive industries.
He said, nonetheless, that Nigeria must keep pushing the frontiers as the country is seen as a leading light in the EITI community. “Nigeria is seen as a leading light, most EITI member countries come to Nigeria to understudy what we are doing, we will continue to push the frontiers.”
“The recognition will incentivize us to keep doing the work we are doing and being the leading light,” he added.
Adio who thanked stakeholders for their support and cooperation that has resulted to the feat, however, stated that it was not enough for Nigeria to get accolades without the resources from extractive sector impacting on the lives of the citizens.
“But if we have accolades and the resources from extractives does not better our people, it not enough.” The NEITI ES said.
Also reacting to the development, Mr. Sani Shehu, President, Miners Association of Nigeria, while congratulating Nigeria for the recognition, however, urged NEITI to double its efforts and consolidate on the work it is doing.
Shehu said “I understand that the EITI ranking is dynamic, you can be up today and down tomorrow, so it depends on the work that NEITI will continue to do to sustain the ranking.”
Nigeria is adjudged the most ambitious of the 52 EITI implementing country due to the scope of its work which goes beyond the requirements of the EITI. Nigeria was the first EITI member country to enact a law of parliament backing EITI implementation and the first country to have an online simplified EITI reports.
It is also the first country to conduct a three-way audit as against the two-way required by the EITI, in addition to several policy papers and instruments it publishes on regular basis to provide solution tailored information to both policy makers and industry managers.
The EITI validation index has five categories which are; no progress, inadequate progress, meaningful progress (which Nigeria attained in 2016), satisfactory progress and beyond satisfactory progress (which no country has ever attained, and is at a countries discretion to push for).
Validation is an independent evaluation mechanism used by the EITI to assess the level of implementation of its principles of transparency, accountability, poverty reduction and good governance in the extractive industry by member countries. It is conducted against 33 various indicators including revenue collection and socioeconomic contribution.