The global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has unveiled it’s revised standards among which is the obligation that the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is to disclose the names of the owners of oil blocks.
According to the NEITI chairman, Mr. Ledum Mitee, who made this disclosure at the capacity building workshop for civil society organizations at Abuja yesterday, the new standards also require improved reliability of data transparency on the part of state-owned companies and other government entities on revenue collected on behalf of the government.
He explained that the new standards focus on expenditure on social services, public infrastructure and fuel subsidy payments.
Mitee added that the revised standards encourage contract transparency in companies and government.
On disclosure of oil block ownership, he said: “Thus, the revised EITI standards require, for instance, disclosure of production figure, disclosure of ownership of the license holders (disclosure of beneficiary ownership.”
He explained that as ground breaking as the new standards undoubtedly are, it is refreshing to note that NEITI audit processes, by the enabling Act, already captures several aspects of the revised standards.
The chairman noted that among the aspect already reflected by NEITI, is the issue of disclosure of production figures, revenue allocations to state’s,local and other accounts are already being implemented in Nigeria under the enlarged mandate granted NEITI by its Act of 2007.
Mitee however disclosed that the aspects of the new standards that were not captured by the current NEITI processes would be incorporated in the 2012 audit reports now in progress.
Speaking, the NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, whom the Director of Civil Service Organization, Mr. Peter Ogbobine represented, said that the Fiscal Allocation Disbursement audit covering the period 2007-2011 has been concluded and will soon be made public.
She added that : “This audit covered actual disbursements of funds accrued to the Federation Account from the oil and gas sector to the three tiers of governments and other agencies of government that directly receive allocations from the Federal account. The audit also tracked actual application of these funds and examined the issues surrounding 13% derivation to benefiting states.”
The Executive Secretary said that the 2011 audit of the solid minerals sector has been concluded and will soon be made public.
According to her, the procurement process for 2013 audit of the sector audit is in progress.
She reassured the stakeholders that NEITI will continue do it’s best to meet all the reporting deadlines set by the global NEITI.