Nigeria’s oil behemoth partners EITI on transparency, accountability

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday said its commitment to partner with the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) will deepen its commitment to transparency and accountability.

The corporation, it would be noted, has become an EITI partner company, joining a group of over 65 extractives companies, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), commodity traders, financial institutions and industry partners who commit to observing the EITI’s supporting company expectations.

The new status, NNPC explained in a statement, would require the corporation to publicly declare support for the EITI Principles and, by promoting transparency throughout the extractive industries, help public debate and provide opportunities for sustainable development.

The status further requires the corporation to publicly disclose taxes and payments and ensure comprehensive disclosure of taxes and payments made to all EITI implementing countries.

It would also ensure the corporation publicly discloses beneficial owners and take steps to identify the beneficial owners of direct business partners, including Joint Ventures and contractors.

The corporation also affirmed that the status would enable it engage in rigorous procurement processes, including due diligence in respect to partners and vendors, and deliver natural resources in a manner that benefits societies and communities, while ensuring that company processes are appropriate to deliver the data required for high standards of accountability.

Helen Clark, EITI Board chair, who lauded the corporation’s commitment to the EITI, said NNPC plays a vital role in Nigeria’s economy.

“Joining the EITI as a supporting company is a welcome step in the NNPC’s journey towards achieving greater transparency and to help ensure that Nigeria’s citizens benefit from their natural resource wealth,” Clark said.

Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and former EITI Board member, also stressed the importance of ensuring that natural resource wealth contributes to sustainable development.

“Increased transparency of Nigeria’s national oil company revenues is contributing to improvements in our country’s domestic resource mobilisation efforts,” Ahmed said.

Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of NNPC, while expressing the corporation’s commitment to the EITI, said becoming an EITI supporting company aligns with NNPC’s corporate vision and principles of transparency, accountability and performance excellence.

“Our partnership with NEITI and EITI strengthens our commitment towards commodity trading transparency, contract transparency and systematic disclosure of revenues and payments. We are on a journey towards greater transparency and look forward to deepening our collaboration with the EITI to further this work,” Kyari said.

Waziri Adio, NEITI Executive Secretary, commended NNPC’s move to support the EITI.

“NNPC joining the EITI as a supporting company is a major inflection point in the quest for transparency – for the company, for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, and for the country as a whole,” Adio said.

EITI’s mission is to promote understanding of natural resource management, strengthen public and corporate governance and provide the data to inform greater transparency and accountability in the extractives sector.

By becoming a member of the EITI, 54 countries have committed to disclose information along the extractive industry value chain – from how extraction rights are awarded, to how revenues make their way through the government and how they benefit the public. Through participation in the EITI, countries agree to a common set of rules governing what has to be disclosed and when – the EITI Standard.

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