Nigeria to Undergo Fresh EITI Validation on Natural Resource Accountability

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja

Nigeria is expected to undergo a new round of validation by the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to verify her adherence to accountable and transparent management of natural resources earnings from mining companies, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has disclosed.

NEITI disclosed this monday in Abuja when it said that a team of independent validators from the EITI international secretariat in Oslo, Norway, was due to come into the country to undertake this exercise just months after Nigeria escaped losing her compliance status with the EITI.

NEITI in a statement from its Director of Communication, Orji Ogbonnanya Orji, stated that the team would carry out a validation process on the country’s implementation and adherence to the principles of the global extractive industries transparency initiative in the governance of its extractive sector.

It explained that the process was a quality assurance mechanism which the global EITI board uses to hold implementing countries to the same global standard.

According to NEITI, the mechanism provides an independent and impartial platform for evaluation and verification of progress made among implementing countries.

NEITI said the validation will also assess Nigeria’s government commitment to EITI process, and how EITI implementation is leading to reforms that bring about positive changes in the management of revenues accruing from her extractive industries.

“The validation also seeks to ensure that EITI process actually leads to prudent management; improved governance; transparency and accountability in the extractive industry, with a view to ensuring that revenues from the sector translate to improved quality of lives; national development and poverty reduction in member countries.

“Member countries under validation may either be rated as making ‘no progress’; ‘inadequate progress’; ‘meaningful progress’; ‘satisfactory progress’ or ‘beyond progress’, depending on their level of progress in the EITI implementation,” said NEITI in the statement.

It noted that the validation process will review NEITI activities; reports and remediation process and impacts.

It said as part of measures to put the country in good standing, that it has published two recent reports in the oil and gas as well as solid minerals for the period 2013.
It added that it has commenced the 2014 reports and procurement process to kick-start the 2015 reports in the sector.

“The validation exercise commenced on July 1, 2016 when EITI international secretariat began desk review of publicly available documents on EITI implementation in Nigeria. The EITI team is expected to arrive in Nigeria on July 25, 2016 as part of the ongoing validation exercise and NEITI as the implementing agency is providing the platform for Nigeria’s validation,” it stated.