Nigeria, EITI’s trailblazing member country, says it is targeting attaining beyond satisfactory overall on all requirements in implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’s Standards when it undergoes its next validation by 2022.
Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Mr. Waziri Adio, stated this on Wednesday, in Abuja, at a briefing on Nigeria’s validation journey.
The EITI board had, at its 42nd meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 27, adjudged Nigeria to have attained satisfactory progress which is the highest ranking against the EITI standards, having met all the requirements. By this achievement Nigeria becomes one of the seven EITI member countries of the total 52, to have achieved satisfactory progress. It is the first Anglophone African country to have achieved the ranking.
Remarking on Nigeria’s ranking, EITI chair, Fredrik Reinfeldt, said “Nigeria’s implementation of the EITI Standard remains in many respects a model for implementing countries globally. Apart from its scope, NEITI reports have shaped major reforms initiated in the sector, including those by the national oil company, NNPC”.
Nigeria has continued to blaze the trail among EITI member countries; it was the first country to enact a law of parliament backing EITI implementation, and the first country to conduct a 3-way audit as against the EITI’s required 2-way audits. Also, it is the only country presently doing beyond EITI reporting, by going further to audit the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursements, conducting research and publishing periodic policy papers and documents aimed at guiding policy makers and companies as well as providing solutions to areas of observed gaps in the industry.
Asked what the next steps would be, Adio said, “when we do the next validation, we want to see if we can achieve beyond satisfactory in more than two, or in all of the assessment areas. It is not beyond us, if we put our minds to it, we can do it.”
“The future of the EITI is where we go beyond the regular EITI reporting, we will be targeting mainstreaming, which is a focal point of the EITI,” Mr. Adio said.
While Nigeria’s attainment of satisfactory progress may not have eliminated all the challenges in the extractives sector, he said, but it will impact positively on the country as it will give investors some level of confidence by sending a signal of openness. “Validation does not mean the sector is working perfectly, but there’s more openness now, the opacity that existed 15 to 10 years ago cannot be compared to what exists today”.
“This has the potential of attracting more investments which will translate to more revenue and better living for the Nigerian people,” Mr. Adio stated
The EITI international secretariat conducted validation on Nigeria in July 2018. Nigeria was measured against 31 requirements, it passed in all 31 areas, and even achieved beyond satisfactory in two of the 31 requirements, which are public debates and in-kind revenue. Of the 52 EITI member countries, 33 have gone through validation and only seven has attained satisfactory progress.
The EITI has four level of progress which members are measured by, they are; no progress, inadequate progress, meaningful progress and satisfactory progress which is the highest.
Beyond satisfactory is not a ranking requirement of the EITI, it is an acknowledgement of countries that has gone beyond the requirements of the EITI. This category is only encouraged by the Initiative and not taken into account in assessing compliance.