Nigeria set for fresh EITI revalidation test in 2016

Nigeria_location_POI_OPL233_map_20052013_72dpi-CopyNigeria is on the verge of revalidating its membership of the Extractive Industry Transperency Initiative (EITI), thereby setting a greater task on the Federal Government to entrench transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry.

The sector had been characterised by in-depth corruption, which were revealed in the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report;PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) audit report and the subsidy probe revelations.

The EITI is a global standard to promote open and accountable management of natural resources, and the validation, which will take place in January 2016, is designed to find out the level of implementation of EITI standards in Nigeria.

NEITI has however requested that President Buhari should begin the implementation of remediation issues identified in its audits in line with his campaign promises.

Specifically, NEITI noted that the non-implementation of remediation issues puts Nigeria at risks of being sanctioned by EITI in January 2016, when Nigeria is due for validation.

Chair, Civil Society Steering Committee (CSSC) of NEITI, Faith Nwadishi, in a communiqué made available to The Guardian, said the Federal Government should review the NEITI law to incorporate the new EITI standards which will promote more openness and accountability in the Nigeria oil and gas sector.

Besides, it enjoined the government to show more commitment to the implementation of EITI in Nigeria by increasing the budgetary allocation to NEITI to realize its mandate

The industry watchdog also called on Mr. President to immediately direct NEITI to conduct the Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement (FASD) audit in all the 36 states and 774 LGAs. This audit will reveal how states and LGAs are spending their allocations from oil and gas sector.

The validation exercise is targeted at ascertaining the level of compliance of member countries to EITI principles of transparency and accountability in the extractive industries.

It would be recalled that Nigeria signed up to implement EITI standards in the extractive sector in 2003, but actually began implementation in 2004 .

Nigeria had been designated as an EITI compliance country by the global body in 2013.

The EITI had in 2012 approved a new set of standards and part of the requirements of the standard is that countries like Nigeria that are EITI compliant will be going into validation every three years.

Meanwhile, the Chair of the global EITI, Clare Short arrives Nigeria on Monday and held consultations with President Mohammadu Buhari on the implementation of the independent reports of NEITI as well as the proposed reforms in the oil, gas and mining sectors.

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