The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said that it had assisted the Federal Government, through regular publication of credible and accessible critical data to recover, over $3 billion revenue from oil and gas companies operating in the country.
The Executive Secretary of the organization, Waziri Adio, disclosed this in his speech at the International Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative at its meeting in Berlin, Germany.
Adio, who also said that recoverable revenues in excess of $20 billion in the sector had been disclosed by NEITI reports over the years, listed the sources of such revenues as those derivable from process lapses leading to under-assessment or underpayment of taxes, royalties, signatures bonuses, etc.
NEITI’s Director of Communications and Advocacy, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji, in a statement issued in Abuja, quoted the organisation’s boss as saying that through the organisation’s regular publication of critical data on the operations in the nation’s extractive industry, it has succeeded in opening up the previously opaque sector to public scrutiny, thus increasing citizens’ demands for reforms.
This is even as Adio pointed out that Nigeria wanted EITI to shift its current priorities to the pursuit of visible impact in the implementation of the initiative in member-countries.
Specifically, he pointed out that the current focus by the international transparency advocacy organization (EITI) on member-countries to attain satisfactory progress in the implementation of its standard was not enough if the efforts do not translate to visible impact in areas of poverty reduction and improved standard of living of the citizens in such countries.
In his presentation to the EITI Board, titled ‘EITI Impact and Outlook in Nigeria’, Adio spoke on Nigeria’s concerns that little or no attention was given to context and diversity of implementing countries, particularly those of developing nations.
He explained: “Out of seven categories in the EITI validation requirements, only one is focused on impact and outcome, while out of EITI’s 33 requirements, only four are on impact and outcome.”
He listed some of the areas that Nigeria had made positive impact in the implementation of EITI to include improvement in revenue recovery and generation of credible data for advancement of citizens’ engagement and debate required to push reforms in the extractive industry.
Adio said that the EITI validation process designed to hold all implementing countries to the same standard was desirable, noting however that such exercise should recognise and encourage the impact recorded by member-countries.
The 20-member EITI Board is drawn from all parts of the world, and it develops and shapes the policy direction of the organisation that guides its 51 member countries.