Nigeria’s journey towards deliberate policy search for transparency, accountability, and good governance of her abundant natural resources in oil, gas and mining is directly linked to 2003 when the country signed onto the membership of the global Extractive Industries Transparencly Initiative (EITI). This resulted in the establishment of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in 2004 as a major component of the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) and the domestication of EITI principles under the NEITI Act 2007.
The implementation of EITI principles and standards have over the years been aligned with economic reform policies of successive administrations in Nigeria and have significantly led to increasing public demands for reforms in the extractive industries. Notably, NEITI’s annual reports have provided ground breaking public disclosures, timely information and data on revenue earnings, management and short comings, physical and process issues, compliance, incentives as well as legal and remedial actions that require policy and/or legislative interventions in the short, medium and long term.
The evolution of NEITI through its Reports on the extractive industries in Nigeria is unique in content, context and comprehension because its multi-stakeholders approach strives on protecting overarching public interest, dialogue, coalition, and consensus among representatives of government, companies and the civil society. The 5th National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) which I currently head, has therefore steered the multi-stakeholders framework by providing the required leadership and guidance for the production of this 2020 Industry Report which is the first since it was constituted by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, in July, 2021.
In keeping with the EITI principles and compliance with the NEITI ACT 2007, this report is entirely the product of an independent assessment under the NSWG guidance and we affirm the reliability of the assessments, its findings, recommendations as well as the integrity of the report.
I am delighted that NEITI is releasing the 2020 Industry Report on financial and process issues that underpinned major transactions in the oil and gas sector at such a time when the oil sector is undergoing massive reforms under the Petroleum Industry Act, which is itself, a direct product of recommendations from previous EITI/NEITI Reports.
The NSWG is glad about the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) after twenty years of efforts at reforms and is pleased that NEITI sits as an institutional member of the Presidential Steering Committee on PIA Implementation. We are confident that NEITI’s involvement will help to aggregate views and citizens’ expectation of an oil and gas sector that works for national development and poverty reduction.
The 5th NSWG remains committed to deepening implementation of all emerging issues in EITI as key components of NEITI reports, going forward. The NSWG is also committed to ensuring that NEITI Reports support government’s efforts at maximizing revenue generation while leading the advocacy for oil & Gas sector reforms in a manner that will eliminate the traditional opaqueness and attract the inflow of foreign investment through transparency, accountability and competitiveness.
The NSWG appreciate the Federal Government for ensuring the independence of NEITI and commends the Secretariat, the Civil Society and the Companies, for their cooperation and valued contributions.
The 2020 Report will be available to the Executive and Legislature as required by law and to all Nigerians, multi-stakeholders as well as the global community. Most significantly, it presents an opportunity to use its contents to generate public discussions and dialogue, push the boundaries of on-going oil and gas industry reforms, serve as a tool for effective planning and for holding government(s) and companies accountable.
Olusegun Adeyemi Adekunle, Esq, KJW
National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG)