The Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global body which promotes public awareness about how countries manage oil, gas and mineral resources have lauded Nigeria as one of the first countries to implement its standards.
EITI Country Manager, Alex Gordy, who led his team to the NNPC Wednesday, stated that out of about fifty one (51) countries, Nigeria was key in shaping the global EITI development.
He expressed happiness that Nigeria has expanded the scope of its implementation of the EITI standards, across the entire value chain of the oil and gas industry as exemplified by the organisation’s Nigerian arm, NEITI.
He stated that Nigeria last underwent EITI validation in 2010 and that the new validation exercise has recently commenced.
The EITI validation exercise is done in order to assess whether a country is or is not compliant with EITI Principles and Criteria. These include commitment to implement EITI standards; commitment to work with civil society and the private sector; having individuals that lead implementation; and a work plan agreed with stakeholders.
Earlier in his speech, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Kachalla Baru stated that the NNPC remains committed towards full compliance with the standards required by the NEITI.
“We have been interacting a lot with NEITI and in those engagements, we have been very cooperative in providing the necessary information. We will always remain committed towards implementing NEITI’s good standards,” Dr. Baru stated.
Describing NNPC’s relationship with NEITI over the years as cordial, the GMD added that NEITI also collaborates with the Corporation in the process of conducting its investigations “because whenever NEITI requests for any information, we always offer full disclosure.”
Dr. Baru explained that some of the major highlights of transparency and accountability in NNPC include the monthly publication of the Corporation’s financial reports as well as the public opening of bids for NNPC contracts.