The engagements by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is leading Nigeria to the place Nigerians want us to be, in terms of transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry, the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mele Kyari, has said.
Kyari who stated this at the stakeholder’s workshop on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Annual Progress Reporting (APR) convened by NEITI in Abuja said these engagements were crucial for the continued growth of the country’s oil and gas industry.
Represented by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Governance, Risk & Compliance, Chris Akamario, the GMD reiterated the Corporation’s commitment to beneficial ownership and contract transparency in the country’s oil and gas sector.
“We are going to continue to work with NEITI to deepen beneficial ownership disclosure in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, beyond statutory ownership in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) records.
“We have to bring in the banks, both at the local and international levels. We are also going to work with NEITI to implement contract transparency in the sector and cooperate with NEITI to broaden Nigeria’s annual progress reporting in line with the requirements of the global EITI,” he said.
Kyari noted the long relationship between NEITI and the NNPC in the EITI implementation process, saying their symbiotic relationship was informed by the strategic positions both occupied in the country’s oil and gas sector.
“We are confident to say that our engagements with NEITI is leading Nigeria to the place Nigerians want the oil and gas industry to be. With the support of NEITI, we are able to close out on most of the outstanding issues in our operations, which have become recurring decimals in past NEITI audit reports”, he said.
In his introductory remarks, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji urged Nigerians and stakeholders in the country’s oil, gas and mining sectors to cultivate the culture of celebrating key achievements, progress and milestones recorded, through the mechanism of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) annual progress reporting.
“The essence of this gathering is to broaden the scope of EITI annual progress reporting in Nigeria. The EITI is not just about NEITI, it is about Nigeria. The APR is about reporting, showcasing and celebrating the good work being done by various government agencies, civil society organizations and companies contributing to deepening reforms in Nigeria’s extractive industries”, Orji said.
He emphasized the need for stakeholders in the industry to share with NEITI their good works in the extractive industries to enable NEITI capture in its report and celebrate them using the instrumentality of the global EITI process.
“NEITI is offering its platforms to celebrate these key achievements being recorded through the EITI annual progress reporting framework”, he said.
“We acknowledge there are challenges. But we need to document, report and celebrate our efforts and key milestones in the process of addressing these challenges, so as to build trust, earn investors’ confidence and attract desired investment into our economy”.
The EITI Anglophone Country Manager, Mike Uzoigwe, described the Annual Progress Reporting as a very critical aspect of the EITI implementation process and one of the core requirements for all implementing countries.
Uzoigwe said the APR provides the opportunity for stakeholders to evaluate how EITI implementation was transforming the operations of member countries’ extractive industry landscape.
He commended NEITI for its work, saying Nigeria remained the most elaborate EITI implementing country. “Right from the beginning, Nigeria has always set the pace and standard and therefore needs to do everything possible to sustain this enviable leadership role in the global EITI community”, the EITI representative said.
The Director General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Idris Musa expressed satisfaction with the work of NEITI, noting that his agency wohld continue to work to deepen EITI reporting in Nigeria.
Musa said his agency has been able to track and report its gas flare acrivities, without depending on third party data and records.
The Director, Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Mustapha Yusuf in his goodwill message noted that the workshop on EITI progress reporting came at the right time when Nigerians and the global community were becoming more interested in the contributions of the mining sectors to the country’s economy.
Yusuf sais MCO’s collaboration with NEITI has led to innovations such as introduction of an online-based system that has now decentralized the agency’s operations.
He said the integration with other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies has led to improvement in revenue generation from the sector. Yusuf said his agency has already commenced the implementation of beneficial ownership and mainstreaming in line with the global EITI standard.
Speaking on behalf civil society, the Executive Director, Women in Extractives, Faith Nwadishi emphasized that EITI implementation and annual progress reporting was not about NEITI.
Rather, she said it was about Nigeria and all the actors working in the extractive industries.
Nwadishi commended NEITI for convening a stakeholder meeting on EITI annual reporting, noting that the meeting represented a unique innovation in the country’s EITI implementation process, which should be sustained.
The EITI requirement 7.4 (review the outcomes and impacts of EITI implementation) mandates multi-stakeholders groups (MSG) to document their review of impacts and outcomes of the EITI implementation in an annual progress report, or through other means as may be agreed by MSG.
It also requires all stakeholders to participate in reviewing the impact of EITI implementation, provide feedbacks, and have their views reflected in the annual progress report.