by Emmanuel Addeh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) have vowed to ramp up efforts at unravelling actual owners of the country’s oil and gas assets as well as ensuring contracts transparency in the sector.
Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, who spoke at a stakeholders’ workshop on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Annual Progress Reporting (APR), convened by NEITI, noted that his commitment to beneficial ownership in the industry was unwavering.
Kyari, who was represented by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Governance, Risk & Compliance, Mr. Chris Akamario, said the NNPC will make sure that banks both at the local and international levels are involved in the renewed attempt to embrace the culture of openness in the 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 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,” Kyari stated.
Stressing that both organisations have come a long way in the EITI implementation journey, he stated that the symbiotic relationship between the two entities was informed by the strategic positions they both occupy in the country’s oil and gas sector.
He added: “We are confident to say that our engagement with NEITI is leading us to the place Nigerians want us 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.”
In his comments, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji urged Nigerians and stakeholders in the country’s oil, gas and mining sectors to celebrate key achievements, progress and milestones that have been recorded and exemplified by the annual progress reporting.
“The essence of this gathering is to broaden the scope of EITI annual progress reporting in Nigeria. The APR is about reporting, showcasing and celebrating the good work being done by various government agencies, civil society organisations and companies that are contributing to deepening reforms in Nigeria’s extractive industries.
“We acknowledge that 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,” Orji stated.
Also speaking, EITI Anglophone Country Manager, Dr. Mike Uzoigwe, explained that the APR provides the opportunity for stakeholders to evaluate how EITI implementation is transforming the operations of member countries extractive landscape.
The Director General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Dr. Idris Musa, in his comments, noted that his agency will work to deepen EITI reporting in Nigeria.
“We can now track and report our own gas flare, we are no longer depending on third party data and record,” he said.
Director, Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Mr. Mustapha Yusuf, noted that the organisation now has an online-based system that has decentralised the agency’s operations and integration with other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)
He stressed that this has led to an improvement in revenue generation from the sector, informing participants that his agency has already commenced implementation of beneficial ownership and mainstreaming in line with the global EITI standard.
Speaking on behalf civil society, Ms. Faith Nwadishi, commended NEITI for convening the meeting on EITI annual reporting, noting that the meeting represents a unique innovation in the country’s EITI implementation.