The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has entered into partnership with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in a bid to promote more transparency and accountability in the Nigerian oil industry.
This is aimed at ensuring that Nigerians benefit from the wealth derived from their natural resource.
The partnership was announced Tuesday morning by EITI and NNPC in a joint statement. According to the statement, the NNPC joins over 65 extractive companies, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), commodity traders, financial institutions, and industry partners committing to ensuring global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas, and mineral resources
EITI Chief, Rt Hon. Helen Clark, praised the partnership, saying that the NNPC is an important institution in Nigeria’s oil-based economy. She also noted that the partnership will be a “welcome step in the NNPC’s journey toward achieving greater transparency and to help ensure that Nigeria’s citizens benefit from their natural resource wealth.”
Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, was also quoted in the statement to have said that improving transparency in Nigeria’s oil industry will contribute positively to the country’s domestic efforts to mobilize resources.
Also commenting on the partnership, NNPC’s GMD, Mele Kyari 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.”
EITI said the partnership demonstrates NNPC’s commitment to becoming a more transparent resource company. Compliance to EITI standards would enable NNPC reach its targets on transparency and accountability.
The areas where both parties are expected to work on transparency include revenues and payments to government, contracts governing petroleum exploration and production, and consolidated group-level financial statements. A good example of such is Qatar Petroleum’s partnership with EITI which has seen the Gulf state-owned company publish its annual and sustainability report for the first time.
The EITI Standard requires the disclosure of information along the extractive industry value chain, from the point of extraction to how revenues make their way through the government, and how they benefit the public. By doing so, the EITI seeks to strengthen public and corporate governance, promote understanding of natural resource management, and provide the data to inform reforms for greater transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.
Recall that the NNPC recently published its audited financial reports, which drew public backlash especially in view of revelations of its loss-making yet costly refineries. Joining the EITI global standards, which promotes open and accountable management of extractive resources, would enable the NNPC ensure accountability to Nigerians on its operations through its regular publications of activities.