Abuja, Jan. 27, 2024: The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says it will unveil its 2022/2023 reports on oil, gas and solid minerals industries on Sept. 24.
Executive Secretary, NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said this at the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) media briefing on Friday in Abuja.
He said NEITI focused more on content and that the two separate reports would be presented simultaneously to ensure current and globally acknowledged reliable data.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the international partner, EITI is on a mission to Nigeria to assess NEITI’s post validation plans and how to support the EITI implementation in Nigeria.
The international delegation was led by Dr Bady Balde, Deputy Executive Director, Global EITI Secretariat.
Orji said some local challenges, including time of resettlement affected the production of the reports, adding that the challenges had been sorted out and by September the reports would be published.
He said it received the delegation of its international partners, following the performance of Nigeria in the last EITI validation that was conducted, adding that the visit would feature knowledge sharing and capacity building, among others.
“Validation is a global assessment that holds all implementing countries to the same standard and Nigeria scored 72 per cent, excelled and recorded over 90 per cent in quality and reliability of data.
“Their visit is timely because we are trying to align our operations and mandates to the priorities and strategic development goals of the renewed hope agenda of the President Bola Tinubu administration,” he said.
The executive secretary said the organisation also had engagement with the National Assembly on the review of the NEITI Act and received assurances that it would be taken seriously.
He said the idea was to align the NEITI Act with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021) and the current economic realities of the government, which was focussing more on revenue.
“We have done an in-house review of that Act and are seeking legal opinion. Consultants are working on it, while we are working with the national assembly to see how to help us,” he said.
He said his management had looked at the EITI 23 standard agreed upon in Senegal and emerging issues in the global EITI, which included energy transition, contract transparency and beneficial ownership.
According to him, the issues also include open and accessible data, climate change and gender inclusiveness, environment and a number of areas where the law is deficient.
“We also want to see what could be done to make NEITI less dependent on government for funding.
“Also to see if there are windows where our reports which usually lead to recovery of huge revenue could aid in giving some soft landing in terms of supporting government for funding instead of relying wholly on government,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Balde had expressed dissatisfaction with the publication of old data, adding that timeliness of data was necessary to cover current relevant issues.
Balde said data publishing should not be delayed, adding that many countries had gone far in producing data in the public domain including Senegal, Zambia, Norway, among others.
Balde, while describing NEITI as the largest secretariat by staff in the world with twice the number of staff at its headquarters, called for more technical assistance, engagement and timely data publication to avoid speculation.
He urged the internal governance of NEITI to sustain its principle and uphold values by practicing what it preached and maintain highest level of transparency and credibility.
He supported the amendment of NEITI’s act to address the imperfections of the law.