Nigeria on Thursday recorded superlative grades in the final validation assessment of its implementation of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the country’s extractive industry.
In the result of the assessment announced by the International Board of the EITI at its 58th Board meeting presided by the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, Nigeria earned 90 points out of 100 on key assessment criteria, including the integrity of data and comprehensiveness of of its annual audit reports, outcomes and impacts, as well as contribution to economic growth and adherence to legal frameworks.
The Board meeting coordinated from the international headquarters of the global transparency group in Oslo, Norway also said Nigeria recorded an overall score of 72 points out of 100 at the end of eleven months-long global assessment exercise organised to assess the implementation of the EITI principles among its 58-member implementation countries.
The EITI said Nigeria’s performance was excellent in three major thematic assessment criteria, namely transparency, stakeholders’ engagement and outcomes and impacts.
Specifically, the Board said Nigeria, through the activities and programmes of its transparency and accountability agency, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), recorded her highest score of 92 points on outcomes and impacts; 71.5 points on implementing transparency driven reforms in the extractive industry, and 52.5 points on stakeholders’ engagements.
In arriving at the decision for Nigeria’s rating of 72 points over 100, the Board particularly noted NEITI’s effective implementation of EITI principles with “visible and tangible impacts of NEITI’a leadership in extractive industry reforms and governance in the oil, gas and mining sectors.
The global EITI Board observed that the score of 92 points recorded in the area of outcomes and impacts reflected “NEITI’s robust system for developing workplans for implementation, monitoring and evaluation, dissemination and outreach.”
The 20-member Board applauded NEITI achievement, particularly in the integrity of data contained in its annual industry audit reports.
The Board said recording a score of 90 points out of a possible 100 showed that information and data from NEITI reports were not only credible, but globally acknowledged as reliable and comprehensive.
Reacting to the global assessment report, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji said the result of the assessment was a firm validation of the agency’s superlative performance.
“As an agency, NEITI expected a higher overall score for Nigeria given government’s support, stakeholders’ collaboration, the quantum and quality of work NEITI has put in pursuant to various reforms in the extractive industry on behalf of the federal government in the past two years. Our expectation was an overall minimum score of 90 points in all the three major indicators.”
Despite not scoring the maximum points, Orji said NEITI was happy that Nigeria recorded her highest score of 90 points in the area of quality, openness and integrity of data, outcomes and impacts in its annual reports.
The Executive Secretary said NEITI remained fully committed to outcomes and impacts that translated into visible results that shaped the ongoing reforms to block leakages in the extractive industries and guarantee more revenues for the government to improve the quality of lives of Nigerians.
The global EITI’s endorsement of Nigeria’s comprehensiveness and integrity of its data, Orji pointed out, was very important for the work NEITI was doing, given the importance of credible information and data to support planning and national development.
“NEITI is equally delighted with the score of 90 points recorded on contribution to economic growth and development as this points to the fact that the agency’s work has been impactful and aligns with the national priorities of the government,” Orji said.
The ES promised that NEITI, working more closely with the government, civil society and extractive companies, was fully set to mobilise more work towards addressing the areas that need improvement as clearly highlighted in the report.
These include deepening engagements with the government, extractive industries companies, civil society and the entire citizens.
Other areas, he said, required improvement were priority attention to be accorded the development of the solid minerals sector, expanding beneficial ownership disclosures and all other emerging issues in the extractive sector as outlined in the EITI Board assessment for improvement.
The Executive Secretary however, expressed regrets that the absence of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), or NEITI Board as required by the EITI Standard to provide oversight, adversely affected Nigeria’s overall performance in the international assessment.
Consequently, Orji used the opportunity to renew the agency and stakeholders’ calls for the urgent reconstitution of the NSWG dissolved recently by the Presidency along with all Boards of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the country.
While thanking the Federal Government, civil society, media, oil, gas and mining companies and development partners for their support and valued contribution during the validation process coordinated by NEITI, Orji gave the assurance that the high performance would be sustained.
The global EITI has scheduled its next global assessment of Nigeria for January 1, 2026 during which it expects that all corrective actions identified in the latest report would have been remedied and strengthened.