Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said that between 1999 and 2016, a period of 17 years, Nigeria earned a combined sum of $925.99 billion from its production and sale of crude oil, gas, and solid minerals.
It explained in a statement on its attainment of ‘satisfactory’ status – the highest compliance ranking of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), that between 1999 and 2016, the country received $617.22 billion from her oil and gas sectors, while $308.77 billion was earned from her solid minerals sector between 2007 and 2016.
According to the NEITI, while about $20 billion had been identified as recoverable revenue to the country from the above-mentioned sectors within the period, either as unpaid tax or refunds due to bad production processes, only about $3 billion has so far been recovered back into the coffers of the country.
“Over time, a total sum of $617.22 billion have been disclosed as revenue earned between 1999 and 2016 in the oil and gas sector, while $308.77 billion has been disclosed as earnings in the solid minerals sector between 2007 and 2016.
“Besides, about $20 billion have been identified as recoverable revenue, while information from NEITI’s reports have been used to recover about $3 billion into government coffers,” NEITI stated.
NEITI further noted that with its recent recognition by the EITI as a ‘satisfactory’ complaint country to the ideals of the EITI, it was ready to move its implementation of the EITI in Nigeria from reports to results in poverty reduction and improved quality of life for the citizens.
The statement quoted its Executive Secretary, Mr. Waziri Adio, to have said attaining the highest rating in EITI implementation was important but enthroning transparency and accountability in the extractive sector to the extent that revenue resources in the industry contributes visibly to poverty reduction and improved quality of lives for Nigerian citizens was a lot more important.
Adio, noted that the challenge for NEITI now was to ensure that these high standards are maintained and sustained in its interface with the oil, gas and solid mineral sectors.
He added that the global EITI standard was currently undergoing a review and expansion to cover mandatory disclosure on beneficial ownership; state-own enterprises; licensing and contract transparency; project-level reporting; commodity trading; environmental reporting; open data; and gender concern.
“NEITI is already implementing some of these standards and will deepen implementation, as important next steps.
“NEITI will continue to work with stakeholders to sustain Nigeria’s current EITI ranking and ensure it leads to direct impacts in the lives of citizens.
“The agency will also continue to communicate the meaning of validation to the citizens and be proactive in preparation for next round validation due in February 2022, leveraging on lesson from previous exercise.
“On the whole, NEITI working closely with government at all levels, the extractive industry companies and the civil society is determined to move EITI implementation in Nigeria from reports to results in poverty reduction and improved quality of life for the citizens,” the statement noted.