The global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) warned that Nigeria significantly risked its suspension from the body by the end of February if the 2013 edition of the country’s oil, gas and solid minerals industries audit report is not signed off and published, ThisDayLive reported. The risk is increasing as the country was expected to submit the report by the end of 2015 and has not done so.
The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, claims it had been ready even before December, but the submission has been stalled due to absence of the National Stakeholders Working Group board, NSWG, which is yet to be reconstituted by President Muhammadu Buhari, according to NationalMirrorOnline. The board is to sign off on the audit report, however, Buhari had, along with other federal boards, dissolved the NEITI in October 2015. The ensuing delays could result in Nigeria losing its EITI-compliance status, which it earned in 2013.
Experts believe that EITI’s suspension could put the country in a bad light in the eyes of global investors in the extractive industries, notably oil and gas. It could suggest that the country is not committed to its extractive industries operations, standard business transparency, and accountability.
EITI is a global Standard to promote open and accountable management of natural resources. It seeks to strengthen government and company systems, inform public debate, and enhance trust. In each implementing country it is supported by a coalition of governments, companies, and civil society working together.